This letter is almost three years too late; I meant to write it when I first heard of Pat Tillman's amazing sacrifice in honor of those who died on Sept. 11, including my brother, William C. Hunt. Gary Smith does a great job of capturing Tillman's thoughts, feelings and emotions from his recruiting trip to Arizona State through his final moments in the woods of Afghanistan (Code of Honor, May 3). Reading the article, I felt the devotion of a young man who truly knew that he would make a difference in life.
DAN HUNT, Waltham, Mass.
I am not inspired by Tillman's choice to leave millions of dollars and a career in the NFL behind. I'm more inspired by his conviction that he must serve America—to preserve our freedoms—and his desire to remain anonymous.
BRETT GINGOLD, Bend, Ore.
Tillman wouldn't have wanted you to glorify him for losing his life while serving his country. Shame on you for not honoring the simple request of a soldier who, like so many other brave men and women, died for the freedom we cherish today.
STEPHEN M. JOHNSON, Lynchburg, Va.
Pat Tillman became a hero the day he enlisted in the Army, not the day he died in the mountains of Afghanistan.
JONATHAN LEVIN, New York City
I know the public does not understand the global war on terrorism. I know this because Rick Reilly and, undoubtedly, countless others are furious that it takes the lives of soldiers like Pat Tillman and Todd Bates (THE LIFE OF REILLY, May 3). Well, I'm furious, too. As an Army officer who recently served in Iraq and who was privileged to command a soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice, I know too well the cost of this war. We have the power to help a people in need escape the bonds of tyranny, and for that reason alone we have the responsibility to do so. Yes, the cost of freedom can be unbearably high, but the cost of indifference is unconscionable.
Capt. RICK BURTT, U.S. Army
Reilly is entitled to his opinions about the war, but a sports magazine is not the place to air those views.
PAUL CURRAN, Clarks Green, Pa.
Is Reilly honoring or insulting Tillman and Bates? He seems to honor these men for making the ultimate sacrifice for a cause they believed was worth dying for, but at the end he claims the war they fought was started "with no just cause and continues with no just reason." I hope it wasn't his intention to devalue the lives of these two men, but I think he did.
DAMON RAMOS, Santa Monica, Calif.
As a loyal American, I'm proud of Tillman and just as proud of Bates and, like Reilly, mad as hell about the cavalier way their lives were thrown away. As soon as I'm through with this note, I'm going to renew my subscription to make up for the disgruntled readers who will cancel theirs.
JOHN SIMS JR., Jeffersonville, Ind.
As Americans, we honor those who have perished by exercising one of the great gifts they have given us: the right to vote.
THOMAS GLASS, Harrisburg, Pa.
Reilly movingly expresses the thoughts and feelings of many Americans who believe that it is indeed patriotic to take a stand against this senseless war.
JEFF CRESWELL, Portland