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October 02, 2006
American Hero
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October 02, 2006


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American Hero

Thank you, SI, for printing Gary Smith's story on Pat Tillman (Remember His Name, Sept. 11). SI is about more than just sports; it's about our culture. We can learn a great deal from Pat's sacrifice, and I'm impressed you decided to remind us how he lived his purpose-driven life. We will remember this hero's name and what he stood for.
Nathan Barrett, Amarillo, Texas

Whether Tillman wanted to acknowledge it or not, he was a hero. I am naturally jealous of his physical prowess and his intellectual gifts, but what I most admired about him was his ability to choose his course in life by following his heart without fear about what others thought of him.
Robert Smith, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Smith's feature on the life and death of Tillman is a chilling portrait of a nation too willing to numb itself with half-truths and shallow, mawkish displays of "patriotism." It alternately inspired and angered me. Tillman's willingness to fully examine life's joys, pains and contradictions is, I think, a legacy greater than any uniform. That's the Pat Tillman I'll remember.
Reuben Jackson, Washington, D.C.

Pat Tillman is a hero, but his mother's stubborn devotion to truth and integrity is equally heroic.
Bonnie Sloane, Los Angeles

Thank you for doing something that the U.S. military and government have been so obviously unable to do—tell the truth about the tragic loss of Pat Tillman.
Kim Murdock, Lutherville, Md.

What Tillman did for our country was what many of us only wish we had the guts to do, but what about the anonymous 18- and 20-year-old kids who have given up their futures to fight for our country and who never come home? They are the ones whose names should be known and not forgotten.
N. Scott Erbst, Edmond, Okla.

The real Army takes place at the level Tillman was serving in: the squad and platoon levels. Everything above that is command and control, and it failed him and his family miserably. I'm disappointed that Tillman will not be part of the next generation of leaders that this country so desperately needs.
David Kaercher, Chaska, Minn.

Most will argue, and many will agree, that it's noble to die for one's country. But there's no nobility in the way Tillman was killed, or in the incompetence and lies that took him to Afghanistan to be murdered. I wear a fading red bracelet that reminds me to NEVER FORGET #40. I never will.
Laurence C. Harmon
Minnetonka, Minn.

Adieu, Andre

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