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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk FORD's Avatar
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    10.22.17 @ 08:55 PM
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    After Patís Birthday - by Kevin Tillman

    After Patís Birthday

    Posted on Oct 19, 2006

    By Kevin Tillman

    Editorís 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.


    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.



    It is Patís 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 voiceÖ until we got 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 canít 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 ďbad applesĒ 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. Itís 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 donít 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 ďsomehowĒ 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 Patís birthday.



    Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,

    Kevin Tillman






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  2. #2
    Unchained scs5150's Avatar
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    12.17.10 @ 10:56 AM
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    Wow. That's pretty sad, but true.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk
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    12.23.16 @ 10:32 AM
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    Right on Kevin

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    07.30.17 @ 08:59 PM
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    And this comes from someone who is there.
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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    Tillman died in Afghanistan, not Iraq. He would have died anyway.

    Tillman screwed up in a fire-fight and tried flanking alone with his interpreter (an Afghan) without the rest of his fire-team. The rest of the platoon sees two guys in the open, one an Afghan and they hosed them down.

    The Army decided not to tell his family that he'd messed up, I don't know that they should have gone the distance with the whole "Hero" thing, but I think their heart was in the right place.

    Tillman's parents are were always big-time anti-war types.

    I think we should be done and out of Iraq, we've done everything we said we were going to and it's time to declare victory and move on. But the idea of linking the war in Afghanistan to the war in Iraq is stupid.
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  6. #6
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    07.30.17 @ 08:59 PM
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    This quote is from the same page. Well, written and very much on-the-nose.....

    It is an unbelievable reality we are living in, when those who speak the truth are looked down upon. How have we let it get this far? How can we, as a nation, a people who once stood for so much, sit and allow these crimes to stand as acceptable? We choose to ignore the truth, because it is not politically correct. We certainly need change in this country, for us and the world. There is so much suffering that exists all over, and instead of helping, this government is only creating more. The American people have a legacy of humanity. We have learned from great revolutionaries like Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John Kennedy how to change the world. Why are we ignoring what this country stands for? We have a long line to uphold, please letís start activily changing our world for the better! Thank you, Kevin. I hope that you can find strength in your own words, and I hope that we do not disappoint you on November 7th.
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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk Little Dreamer's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 03:57 PM
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    Yup. There's civil war in Iraq right now and I know some Iraqis who say it was actually better under Saddam! The chance of getting killed was lower. Let's declare total failure and "mission failed" and remove the troops. The American people want to leave, the US army wants to leave. It's mind boggling that 3 guys, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld can go against what a whole country wants and keep this mess going on.

    It's urgent that Congress changes political color in November so they can start investigating this mess and ask the hard, tough questions that have yet to be asked on the senate and house floors. Someone has to be made accountable for one of the greatest debacle in US history.
    Little Dreamer

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk
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    12.23.16 @ 10:32 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
    Tillman died in Afghanistan, not Iraq. He would have died anyway.

    Tillman screwed up in a fire-fight and tried flanking alone with his interpreter (an Afghan) without the rest of his fire-team. The rest of the platoon sees two guys in the open, one an Afghan and they hosed them down.

    The Army decided not to tell his family that he'd messed up, I don't know that they should have gone the distance with the whole "Hero" thing, but I think their heart was in the right place.
    It says he died in Afghanistan in the first line of the article:

    "Editorís 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."

    And ANYONE brave enough to serve over there is a hero.

  9. #9
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 06:57 PM
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    I think Iraq was a nice try, but I'm coming to the mindset that maybe it's time to pack our toys up and go home, and if things go to shit there after we leave, so be it. Maybe the French will be concerned enough to try and do something.

 

 

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