It’s not that I’m a Jew — my grandfather served in Korea and my father in Vietnam — it’s just that I’m a gigantic pussy.
My first instinct on September twelfth was to run and hide. I was so terrified that day, I would have moved to a condo in Connecticut.
Years later, when nothing else blew up and I got onto better anti-panic medication, I was finally able to write about my experience in the Twin Towers. I’ve even talked about it on stage to other survivors. But to go and actually physically defend the country that saved my grandparents from the Holocaust—that’s something that would never occur to me.
This weekend, I watched The Tillman Story on Netflix. Now, it’s tough to feel like a real man.
The idea that someone gave up millions of dollars and the P-Diddy lifestyle to go fight the Taliban in the desert—that’s just something that makes me feel that I must belong to a different species.
This may be an old story, but there’s an aspect to it that I don’t think enough people know about; I didn’t know about it until this weekend. Even if you’ve seen it, I think it’s worth re-viewing, re-posting, re-Tweeting:
This scene is from Pat Tillman’s funeral. All sorts of opportunist politicians stepped up to the podium to speak to Tillman’s family in vague, comforting, religious generalities.
Even though Tillman was an atheist, politicians from both sides of the aisle seized the opportunity to invoke “God” and capitalize on the photo op.
It was a sleazy but safe decision—who the hell is gonna call someone out for mentioning God at a funeral?
Enter Richard Tillman:
Goddamn. Pat Tillman was a hero, but maybe his brother is, too.
Considering the fiasco that the War on Terror has become, it’d be easy to hide behind hindsight: “Man, only a hypnotized puppet would lay his life on the line for some stupid-ass Corporate American Lie.”
Wish that was gonna work for me, but no dice: I know damn well why I made the decisions I did.
I wonder, with the benefit of hindsight, whether Pat Tillman would have done things differently.
Personally, I wouldn’t change a thing.