The Biography & The Impact Of Pat Tillman

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Many people of this world often find themselves following a certain singer, football star, or even someone such as a YouTube celebrity. Eventually, almost everyone seems to acquire someone that they look up to in some part of their life. Some would simply say that the person they look up to would be their mother or father. There are vast amounts of different types of role models that people tend to look up to. Supported by history, different generations have proven to fluctuate in the type of leader they have chosen. Often times, people notice that the vast majority of the young leaders follow certain young followers, same as with the older population.

Of course, there are many occasions where the young followers do not agree with the young leaders, and similar circumstances with elderly people. On numerous occasions, not only do people follow a person due to beliefs, the person is often brave and heroic of something. A key point made in Sociology is that every individuals biography, pieced together, creates history. With that in mind, one single person has the ability to make a change, whether it is known by many or lost in time. Frequently, people become famous due to finding something that they are able to do that stands out, or by simply making a life changing choice that is noticed by many.

Patrick Daniel Tillman was born Nov. 6, 1976, in Fremont, California. He and his family mainly resided in San Jose, California, for most of his life, until the end of his high school years. He attended Leland High School, and football quickly became a huge part of his life. In addition to stellar grades, Tillman’s talents lead him to become Leland’s star football player and drove the team to the division one state championship. Tillman always excelled in everything he did. In addition, he became very patriotic as he grew older. As his skills became known, he began getting offers from colleges to play for them. By the end of high school, Tillman made a choice and accepted the offer to attend Arizona State University under their football scholarship program.

Evidently, the hardships of college did not affect Tillman from pushing forward. Every day he did his best, worked hard, and every day he gained from it in return. In 1997, he had gained the honors of Arizona State University Football’s most valuable player. He was a key part of their defense that every team desires. The next year, Tillman was entered into the NFL Draft, following the draft, he signed on with the Arizona Cardinals ( Editors). He did not realize it, however this decision changed the way many people viewed everyday life.

After receiving all of this fame, wealth, and fortune, Tillman was living the American dream. An NFL player becomes very rich, very quickly. He married Marie Tillman, his high school sweetheart, in 2002. Marie is a beautiful woman that supported him non-stop as they created a family with one son. Furthermore, he played football professionally for about four seasons ( Editors). On Sep. 11, 2001, there was a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. He, and many others watched the news as the Twin Towers were struck by hijacked airplanes and collapsed within hours.

After watching this devastating event take place, he started to feel that something seemed out of place regarding his personal life. Tillman made yet another life changing decision; he resigned from the NFL. He came to the realization his football career did nothing productive for anyone other than for himself. Many were shocked and questioned his choice, however, when they found out why, he gained respect and support of it. He quit the NFL to join the United States Army. Tillman finally felt as if he was making something of himself and giving back to the country. He found his lifelong patriotic calling. Shortly after joining Army, Tillman was deployed to Afghanistan where he was later struck with friendly gunfire, evidently leading to his death ( Editors). In present time, his family and friends have all assembled to create the Pat Tillman Foundation, in honor of him and to support the United States Veterans, which makes a difference upon numerous lives of retired Veterans.

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There are always two sides to every story; the side who is against, and the side who is for something to some degree of notice. Today, there is much controversy going on in this country, and this world. Several individuals have fallen away from the morals that they grew up with as they became famous. Political coverage of various news networks tend to dominate the mainstream media stories, which can be very crucial at certain times. Nonetheless, they tend to unintentionally leave stories, such as this, out of the picture. Various news media networks have covered all of the attention grabbing stories, such as keeping viewer’s updated with the Kardashian’s, or Colin Kaepernick for example.

Political candidates and government decisions are nevertheless important, however there are so many people that do heroic acts. Regardless, some do not get quite the recognition they may deserve. As mentioned above, a vast majority of people tend to adopt celebrities or political candidates as their role model, or someone they support. Most of the time when a person thinks of someone that has guided a generation, someone such as Martin Luther King Jr. comes to mind. Pat Tillman greatly inspired people that did in fact know of the heroic things he did. He had everything going his way in that everyone wishes they could accomplish, yet he gave all of it up to serve to protect this country that he loved. When it comes to the impact he made, numerous people that heard about this heroic act came to realize that making millions of dollars does not necessarily satisfy what one feels, and in fact can never justify who they are. The actions one takes reflect heavily on what kind of person they are.

Works Cited

“Biography of Pat Tillman.” Assignment Point, 25 Dec. 2016,

Kusz, Kyle W. “From NASCAR Nation to Pat Tillman.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Feb. 2007,

“Pat Tillman.” Edited by,, A&E Networks Television, 28 Apr. 2017,

“Pat Tillman Killed by Friendly Fire in Afghanistan.” Edited by,, A&E Television Networks, 16 Nov. 2009,

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