Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Tillman Story (2010)

This is a celebration of the life of Pat Tillman and an examination of his death, and how the Army tried to turn his death into something for their own ends and how the family choose to take them on and reclaim their son's honor.

The story that the army wanted told was that in the wake of 9/11 Pat Tillman went to war to fight for his country. Sadly while in Afghanistan he was killed in a fire fight and died a hero fighting the enemy.

Sadly that was not the case and Tillman's death was a tragic accident which resulted from friendly fire, and which was not something that the army, nor anyone in the Bush administration wanted revealed.

What transpired was years of investigations and restatements of fact as layers of a cover up were revealed and the family was left disillusioned.

The strength of the Tillman's story is the simplicity of the tale. Pat Tillman was the sort of unconventional no nonsense guy that most people loved. He did what he felt was right and offered no explanation for it. He went to war because he felt he had to. He stayed in the army despite reservations because he had committed to it and to the men in his unit. He didn't want to be a hero or to stand out, he just wanted to serve and do what had to be done.

Sadly from the moment of his enlistment to well past the time he died the powers that be tried to control the Tillman story for their own ends. Tillman tried to fight them were he could and when he passed and the bullshit started to pile up his family started to look for the truth. While they didn't like the idea that his death was a friendly fire incident, they didn't like that Tillman's death was being used for reasons that went beyond what Tillman stood for.

This is a great film. It's a wonderful portrait of a man, and of a family that couldn't stand the BS and took a stand, even though what it revealed was very painful.

As we move towards Memorial Day on Monday we should remember the men like Pat Tillman, who fought and died for the right reasons, the belief in the greater truths of America and not the manufactured ones that those in power would have us believe.

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