Patrick Daniel "Pat" Tillman was an American football player who abandoned his professional football career and enrolled in the US Army in June 2002. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He died in Afghanistan. His death caused much controversy and was subjected to media attention.
Tillman was born on 6th November, 1976 in Fremont, California. He was the eldest of his siblings; the other two were Kevin and Richard. Tillman achieved popularity in football when he was in secondary school. He helped lead his high school to Central Coast Division I Football Championship. After that Tillman received a football scholarship and went to Arizona State University.
Tillman was recruited in the US Army and served a few tours in battle before he died in the mountains of Afghanistan. Initially, the Army reported that Tillman died by the fire caused by the enemies. Later, on 8th May, 2004, the controversy ensued when the Pentagon informed the Tillman family that he died because of a friendly fire accident. The friends and family of the deceased charged the Department of Defense with the allegation that they deliberately postponed the disclosure for weeks after the memorial services of Tillman, to protect the US Army dignity.
Tillman was the first expert NFL player to die in battle since Bob Kalsu, who passed away in the Vietnam War in 1970. Tillman was promoted from Specialist to Corporal posthumously. He posthumously accepted Silver Star and Purple Heart awards.
Tillman was a family man and was close to his friends as well. He more than once mentioned in his personal diaries that throughout the wartime he took strength from his friends, parents, siblings, wife and family. Tillman married Marie Ugenti Tillman, who he dated throughout the high school and tied the knot before enrolling in the US Army Rangers.