Finding the right words...

 Thursday, August 12, 2010

"It Is Not How He Died That Made Him A Hero,
But How He Lived."


I'm having trouble finding the right words to get across what I want to say on this subject. But, you know anything that causes a debate on Facebook is blog worthy, and that is why I am here. 

Before I go any further I want you all to know that you are more than welcome to disagree with me , but here are the conditions. You will be respectful to me, and one another. If you really hate what I have to say there is an X button at the top of the screen that you are more than welcome to click at anytime. 

Having said that, here we go.

I made a comment in reference to this article that seemed to upset some. To be exact I said:
"I'm sorry, but it is about damn time. They need to realize that their son was no more important than any other American hero that has died. Seriously."  
Maybe not the most politicly correct choice of words, but the point was made. 

Now let me be clear. I am not negating the fact that Tillman was a hero, nor am I saying he is less of a hero than anyone else. I am in fact saying he is just as much of a hero; like anyone else who has fought and died in the line of duty. The fact the he passed up a several million dollar contract does not make him more important, or more heroic, nor does it make his family more entitled to answers than any other grieving family. 

I went on to say that were the rolls reversed, and God forbid, I was the grieving widow, I would not want to be lied to. I would want to know the truth. 

However, I understand that in some instances the military does lie about things. I would have to trust that there was a reason. I would especially have to accept this were my husband in an elite unit such as the Rangers, Special Forces, or Delta Force. Units like that go places we don't even know the names of, and places we are technically not to supposed to be. If your not supposed to be in Pakistan officially, how did you die there? You didn't, and for security purposes, to protect other soldiers, your family would never know that is where you died. Instead you would die in a helicopter crash due to a mechanical malfunction. That is the story your family would hear, and they wouldn't be the wiser. Or they would, but would know that some rocks are better left unturned. 

I also know my husband. I know he would not want me running around trying to uncover things that are truly none of my business. He would want me to know that he died doing what he loved. That no matter how he died, it was for something bigger than himself, even if even he didn't know what that "something" was at times. He would want to rest in peace. He would want me to celebrate his life and go on with mine, not spend years in court trying to figure out such a minor moment in his life. Because, you know, the moment you die is exactly that. A moment, in a life full of thousands. Those thousands are the ones that makes you who you are. Those moments are what make you a hero or not, not that single moment. Not the moment you die.

I posted recently about a soldier in Brian's unit who died in Afghanistan. James was killed in a non-combat related incident. His death holds no less importance because he wasn't killed by hostile fire. Just as Pat Tillman's is no less important because he was killed by friendly fire. Neither are lesser heros because of how they died. Their families mourn them just the same as my friend Nicki and her children mourn Bubba, who was killed in a combat related incident. 

My point is that they are all dead. How they died will not bring them back, and how they died does not change then men they were. 

At some point you have to realize that no one loves your son, husband, or father as much or in the same way as you do. Brian is the biggest hero in my eyes. But, only for me and our family would life forever be altered if something were to happen to him. The same is true with Pat. He is only missed daily by his family. His death hasn't forever changed my life. I don't wake up every morning missing him, and I don't think the rest of America does either.

The Army lied to the Tillman Family. Finding out why doesn't change anything. 

It seems like finally the mother has realized that, and I say it is a good thing. If the Army doesn't want to tell her what really happened, it wont. If they never want to say why they lied, they wont. At some point you have to accept what you have and let that be good enough. Sometimes you have to trust in something bigger than yourself, even when it is the hardest thing to do. At some point you have to move forward and do something productive, not chase a ghost for years.

So to you Mrs. Tillman I say; celebrate the heroic life your son lived. Cherish all of the smiles he put on your face, and the love he caused in your heart. You will be doing him more of a service by doing that than you are doing what you are now. Don't let that single moment overshadow the many of hundreds his life was made up of. Don't lose sight of what is important. Respect your son and the way he chose to live his life, and thus die. Let him rest in peace.

Until tomorrow. If you're still there.



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