Film review: The Tillman Story

The following review of “The Tillman Story” was written by SJSU student Jamie Silva.

Patrick Tillman was born November 6th, 1976 in San Jose, Ca. Patrick Tillman was killed April 22nd, 2004 in Sperah, Afghanistan. He became well-known for his highly publicized decision to leave the NFL and a lucrative contract with the Arizona Cardinals to serve in the United States Army a few months after the devastating events of September 11th, 2001. Pat became an overnight celebrity. His name was known throughout hundreds of thousands of households, as media coverage was based solely on him and the events that led up to his death. It was initially reported to his family and the nation that Patrick died running uphill towards the enemy to save the others in his group.

The Tillmans were devastated. The loss of their son was more than any family should bear. In addition to their collective and private grief, they soon became a matter of public display. With the occurrence of suspicious events and information being withheld, the Tillman’s became wary. They wanted answers regarding Patrick’s death and the United States military had been face with a force they had not anticipated, a family’s undying determination for the truth.

Pat Tillman is yet another example of the injustices associated with the current war on “terror”. Patrick Tillman was just another individual willing to fight for his country and wanted to be treated as such. Being that Tillman was a public figure, his option for normalcy was nearly impossible to achieve. His life was placed under a microscope as soon as his passing became public knowledge and he was picked apart by various members of the media and government.

The most appalling issue of Pat Tillman’s false death report was how it was used as a catalyst for public support on the war. With the basis of this war being proposed under false pretenses, a funnel for US foreign policy, any negative outcome must be spun in favor of our occupation in the Middle East. It has become so apparent that appointed officials are successfully altering negative press and claiming essentially zero responsibility for knowledge of “privileged information” which had been leaked and might have created any sort of negative press. This information would have been so important that the generals would have been briefed upon the details. Either they were negligent of these very vital aspects during the oversight as a part of their position or they knew fully what wasoccurring and did nothing about it because it was supporting their agenda. I do not accept either of these alternatives from an appointed officer of my government.

It is outrageous and incomprehensible that issues like the death of Patrick Tillman, an American citizen who fought for this country, can be so easily changed. Has the meaning of human life become lost? When those who sign up for the Army, Navy, Marines also sign up for the disgrace of having their life and possible demise being changed in the good of whoever is in power? The fact that we have not been able to see any images of soldiers’ coffins is heartbreaking. We, as Americans, are left to think that this war has caused little casualties, and we then continue to blindly support the war in the Middle East and not take into account mothers and fathers without sons and daughters, children without parents.

When do we stand up as a collective mass and say this is enough? I can only say that I hope at that time it will not be too late.

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