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After Pat’s Birthday

October 20, 2006

Mr. Conservatard Note:

Mr. C. read the following article which comes directly from truthdig.com. The post has been reproduced here because Mr. C. feels that it is a must read for everyone. If after reading this piece, you don’t have a lump in your throat like Mr. C. did then you had better start rethinking what you really value.

Pat Tillman (left) and his brother Kevin stand in front of a Chinook helicopter in Saudi Arabia before their tour of duty as Army Rangers in Iraq in 2003.

[Truthdigg.com] Editor’s note: Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, who was discharged in 2005, has written a powerful, must-read document.

After Pat’s Birthday
By Kevin Tillman

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we get out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few “bad apples” in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It’s interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that “somehow” was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat’s birthday.


Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman, Kevin Tillman

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. C. Schadegg permalink
    June 27, 2008 12:20 am

    I am about 100 pages into Pat’s tribute book, “Boots on the Ground by Dusk” and have to keep reminding myself that the things that have been written about really happened, it’s not made up by some creative writer. I am truly touched both by this post and Mary Tillman’s book, and find myself also scared at the direction of our country. My thoughts and prayers are with the Tillman family.

  2. Ed Modlin permalink
    August 7, 2008 5:16 pm

    It’s sad that a true American hero like Pat had to pay the price for what our elected leaders got us into.

    Lt. Modlin (U.S. Army)

  3. Domingos Sousa permalink
    September 6, 2008 12:34 am

    Respect, that´s all i can say…very, very respect!
    People like him don´t belong here, they deserve a better palce.
    He is the model, like human should be!
    From Portugal

  4. October 6, 2008 2:02 am

    id like to take this opportunity to thank you for your perspective and emotion, and the right to freely expess yourself without persicution. however this is one opinion that many hold and should not be confused with reality which time will reveal. i myself hold true to neither side but to that which will keep me alive a nother day. do you know this one? two men are being chased by a bear, one man stops the others says “what are you doing”, he replys “putting on running shoes”, why, because i dont need to out run the bear just you! one question? if the shite hits the fan will you be able to stand.

  5. MikeCA permalink
    October 25, 2009 10:28 pm

    I would like to ask Kevin but one question, are you telling us these were Pat Tillman’s views before he died, or your own?

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