I started to post this on my clip blog, but it became something else as I got going. I have posted it here instead, as it needs to be out there among my other thoughts. This is proof that what may be random doesn't always stay random. Read the link, but realize that I didn't focus the post on what the Army did with the information surrounding Tillman's death, which infuriates me. I focus on another part of the story.
URL: Paul Rieckhoff: Honoring Pat Tillman
Although I think way too much has been made of Pat Tillman, the football player, I still don't think enough can be made for the other "Pat Tillmans" of the world. Those who give up their comfortable (read as: "not at war") lives for the rigors of the battlefield. I have my own reservations about the military, which have little to do with the soldiers, but you have to admire those who drop it all and serve. It takes a special kind of person to do that.
I am not that kind of person. I am a patriot who chooses to use words instead of guns. However, until we don't need to shoot each other on this planet, we need those who are willing to - nay, that are called to do the shooting. I am willing to defend my homeland. The Pat Tillmans of the world are called to.
They are called to fight wars that they should be fighting as well as those they shouldn't. They are called to protect the way of life that, while damned imperfect, is better than any other on the planet. They are called to do a duty that most of us can't understand. We can't understand because we haven't lived it - on any level.
So on this Memorial Day, let's remember Pat Tillman. But not for the fact he was a football player. That's nice, but it's unimportant. Let's remember the man. Let's remember the other men and women who are out there every day doing what they do - for their country, and for us. Let's work to make sure they fight the wars they need to fight.
Let's really support our troops.
Those who know me know this, but I should put it out here in case others stroll by. I have a few relatives and two close friends in the military right now. Their names are listed below. Matt and Gordon can tell you that I'm not a "pro-military" guy, but I am supportive of what they HAVE to do. I wrote this for them, as they felt called, for various reasons, to their military service. They aren't Pat Tillman, but regular guys - guys who otherwise might go unnoticed. They are involved on different levels and branches - one even for a different country. You do great work guys. Thank you, and stay safe.
Matthew Hetrick, Sr. -- US Navy -- between duty stations, most recently of the USS George Washington
Brandon Dietz -- US Navy -- serving in Iraq with the CB's
Gordon Justice -- Army National Guard, formerly US Marine Corps -- currently a "Weekend Warrior," most recently stationed in Springfield, Ohio at the Air Force Base there
Jephas Richards -- British Army -- currently stationed in Germany, recently in Iraq
Scott Dees -- Army National Guard -- just out of Basic