Pat Tillman, K.I.A.
Pat Tillman, a former NFL player who swapped a glamorous football career to enlist in the U.S. Army, has been killed in action in Afghanistan, ABCNEWS has learned.
The 27-year-old former football player was killed in direct action during a firefight in eastern Afghanistan Thursday, Pentagon sources told ABCNEWS.
A former member of the Arizona Cardinals, Tillman, along with his brother Kevin, enrolled with the U.S. Army Rangers after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
According to a Pentagon source, Tillman was killed in action when his Rangers patrol was attacked by small arms fire and mortars during a coordinated ambush in eastern Afghanistan.
One enemy combatant was killed, and Tillman was the only U.S. soldier killed during the ambush, said Pentagon sources. His brother, Kevin, is in the same platoon.
Last year, the brothers were awarded an Arthur Ashe Courage Award meant for individuals whose contributions transcend sports. The award was accepted by their younger brother, Richard, while the brothers were away.
Tillman, an unrestricted free agent, traded a $3.6 million, three-year contract with the Cardinals for approximately $18,000 a year in the military. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Tillman was an exceptional student with a 3.84 grade point average through college and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in marketing.
The Tillman family has been notified, according to a Pentagon source.
Sad news indeed. (Via Command Post, which has several retrospective links)
NFL.com dubs Tillman “A True Hero” and has several features on this story and its own report of the news.
Update: Spoons has an excellent suggestion.