From Cardinal to Ranger

Allen Degu

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Reel Work 2011, a labor film festival, presented “The Tillman Story,” in collaboration with Mary Tillman, at San Jose City College’s Student Center on April 27. Directed by Amir Bar-Lev, the film takes a look at Pat Tillman’s life, a young Arizona Cardinal player, soldier and son with mystery surrounding his death in Afghanistan.

In the film, Mary Tillman said she has gone through many ordeals in dealing with the death of her son Pat Tillman. She had two sons who fought and dedicated their lives to their country, and saw the dangers to America of 9/11.

Pat Tillman, a gifted athlete and an Arizona State University student, who was drafted and played in the National Football League, decided to stop a career in the (NFL) to serve in the Armed forces in Afghanistan
Pat Tillman spent most of his life in New Almaden, where his mother was a teacher in the San Jose Unified School District and his father was a lawyer.

While serving in Afghanistan, Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire. The events that led up to his death were not reported to the family truthfully by the military. After many reports of a “cover-up” over Tillman’s death, the family began to seek answers.

The media presence surrounding his death has been large and many books and films have been released.

In the film, the military told the family that Pat died due to an accident. Pat’s mother said that his death “does not read like an accident.”

Reactions to the film were positive.

“It is a good documentary it got me thinking that the government is not fair” Robert Becerril, graphic design major.

“Real inspirational,” Stan Gauff criminal justice major said. “I’ve heard of Pat Tillman because of football, but I didn’t know how he got into the (military) service and how he didn’t want it to be publicized. He is a real man.”