Kevin Tillman: After Pat’s Birthday

I just finished reading one of the most powerful essays I’ve read in a VERY long time, and I feel it my responsibility to pass it along to you, though I guess most of you have read it by now. If you have — well, read it again. If you haven’t, or are not familliar with the names Pat and Kevin Tillman, here’s the story:

Pat Tillman was an NFL player, for the Arizona Cardinals. After the attacks on 9/11, both Pat and his brother Kevin decided to enlist for the military (2002), giving up everything in order to fight for their country against an enemy which had declared war on the American people. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, was discharged in 2005.

In October 19, 2006, Kevin published an essay on the website Truthdig.org. This is an exerpt:

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we got out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

[…]

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

[…]

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

[…]

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

Again, this is a portion of the essay. Normally I wouldn’t have reposted this much — and trust me, there’s more — but its too important for you, if you’re an American, to simply skim over as if this is another post about football or an online game, or a music video. Read the entire aricle over at TruthDig.

Remember: On November 7th (or before, via Early Voting, if you can) vote to regain our sanity as a nation. Vote for change. Even if you’ve never voted before, if you’re registered (or if you can still register), find out what the isues are and go vote. If you’re too apathetic to do even that then you are one of those who are have replaced being “politically informed, diligent, and skeptical” with “apathy through active ignorance.” If that is the case then, indeed, you deserve whatever government you get.

This post may only reach a few people – 200 or 300 — but I pray its message spreads out wider. It is not my message. It is the message of a country who wants to regain its identity, before the last shreds of it are stripped from our collective minds. Vote for change.

By the way, when you’re voting, ask for a paper ballot. You know, just in case.

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