The Life & Times of CPL Pat Tillman

There is a lot of discussion ongoing about the tragic loss of CPL Tillman in Afghanistan. It now appears that the report of an ambush by enemy forces was in error and it was in fact "friendly Fire". People are calling for heads to roll all the way up to the Secretary of Defense.
First let me say that in my humble opinion, people that have not been in combat, in addition to being blessed, should not make judgments from the easy chair. Decisions made in combat when the bullets start flying are difficult and all decisions are life and death. It is tragic that CPL Tillman was killed by mistake but it happens and no one feels worse than the poor soldier that made it looks in the mirror and know that (t)he(y) took the life of a comrade in arms. I feel sorry that (t)he(ir) suffer and now that wound is being replayed in the National Media.
Now let me apply the life lesson here and make sure that everyone knows that as tragic a the death was, a simple stupid mistake compounded it into a black eye for everyone. Had the Ranger leader on the ground stood up and said, Oh shit oh dear, we killed a comrade and we feel so bad for that loss". I think the Tillman family would have hated the result but not the people their son served with.
This simple lesson is one that everyone needs to remember from the first time they able to understand . If you make a mistake, own up and move on. It is the lie that gets you Cover up a lie and after a while it begins to smell. I have students look me in the eye and say "not me" when I see them do something stupid. They must think I am stupid or just haven't had anyone tell them this story. My comment is almost always, "nice try, now you have two things you have done wrong and trust me you don't want to have three."
I worked this week in a 4th Grade class of the brightest kids I have ever met. They were like sponges and soaked up everything I gave them and worked hard to not have to take any work home. As I graded their papers they were mostly A & B students and I don't think there was a failing grade on anything those two days. Even there, the life lesson needed reinforced. MUD


  1. Anonymous8:34 PM

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  2. I can't even comment on this touchy subject. It is unfortunate that stupidity travels faster than the straight goods. I know someone who is friends with the fellow that accidentally misfired his weapon and killed his buddy (from Canada) and tragidy does not even begin to describe the situation. He has small children and if it were up to a lot of people, he would never get to see them grow up.

  3. Wow...what a post. Life gives us lots of lessons. The one that touched me is the one about not lying. Best thing of all is if you feel the urge to let a lie come out of your mouth then just tighten your lips. Better to just not say anything at all.
    Miss you.

  4. I thought they had admitted to that fact long ago. It is tragic when things like that happen, but accidents do happen, or do they? There are reasons for everything that happens in this world.

    And as for lying,you almost always get caught. That's why it's better to always be honest and upfront, even if it hurts.