Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman

Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman

4.3 36
by Mary Tillman
     
 

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"On April 22, 2004, Lieutenant David Uthlaut received orders from Khost, Afghanistan, that his platoon was to leave the town of Magarah and "have boots on the ground before dark" in Mariah, a small village on the border of Pakistan. It was an order the young lieutenant protested vehemently, but the commanders at the Tactical Command Center disregarded his objections.…  See more details below

Overview

"On April 22, 2004, Lieutenant David Uthlaut received orders from Khost, Afghanistan, that his platoon was to leave the town of Magarah and "have boots on the ground before dark" in Mariah, a small village on the border of Pakistan. It was an order the young lieutenant protested vehemently, but the commanders at the Tactical Command Center disregarded his objections. Uthlaut split his platoon into two serials, with Serial One traveling northwest to Manah and Serial Two towing a broken Humvee north toward the Khost highway. By nightfall, Uthlaut and his radio operator were seriously wounded, and an Afghan militia soldier and a U.S. soldier were dead. The American soldier was Pat Tillman." "The Tillman family was originally informed that Pat, who had given up a professional football career to serve his country, had been ambushed by the enemy and shot in the head while getting out of a vehicle. At his memorial service twelve days later, they were told that he was killed while running up a hill in pursuit of the enemy. He was awarded a Silver Star for his courageous actions. A month and two days after his death, the family learned that Pat had been shot three times in the head by his own troops in a "friendly fire" incident. Seven months after Pat's death, the Tillmans requested an investigation." Boots on the Ground by Dusk is a chronicle of their efforts to ascertain the true circumstances of Pat's death and the reasons why the Army gave the family and the public a false story. Woven into the account are valuable and respectful memories of Pat Tillman as a son, brother, husband, friend, and teammate, in the hope that the reader will better comprehend what is really lost when our sonsand daughters are killed or maimed in war. In the course of three and a half years, there have been seven investigations, several inquiries, and two Congressional hearings. The Tillmans are still awaiting an outcome.

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Editorial Reviews

Tara McKelvey
Much of the story has been revealed in newspapers and Congressional testimony. Yet Boots on the Ground by Dusk offers something other accounts do not: the heartache of searching for answers about a son's death…it overflows with love and moral outrage.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

This gripping and emotional memoir by Mary Tillman relates the tragic story of her son Pat who gave up dreams of playing in the NFL to fight in Afghanistan and lost his life at the hands of his fellow soldiers. Tillman gives a stirring, raw and honest reading, relating her struggles both internally and with the less than forthcoming U.S. government, as well as her son's incredible life story. Despite the heightened emotions at work, Tillman never loses focus and presses on to deliver a memorable reading as solemn as it is tender. Pat Tillman's story has been shrouded in mystery since his death in 2004 at the age of 27; Mary Tillman brings her son justice with this audio. A Modern Times hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 3). (May)

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Kirkus Reviews
Eulogy, investigative report and all-out condemnation of the U.S. military-and those who control it. When NFL player Pat Tillman gave up a multimillion-dollar contract to enlist in 2002, more than a few people-including his family-questioned his judgment. Inspired by 9/11, however, Tillman and his brother Kevin chose to become Army Rangers. Two years later, Pat was killed in Afghanistan. Hailed as a heroic patriot by the Bush administration during a period when good news was in short supply, Tillman was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his valor-accolades that seemed almost cruel when it came to light that Tillman was killed under mysterious circumstances by members of his own platoon. Though known primarily as a football player, Tillman's athletic feats are little more than footnotes in his mother's plaintive, cathartic reminiscence about Pat's childhood and his closeness with brothers Richard and Kevin, relationships with friends and abundant intellectual curiosity. Her rage over his death-and the obfuscation that followed-is palpable, however, and is at least as strong as her grief. Alongside fond memories and recollections of Pat's charismatic bluntness and self-sacrificing nature, Mary details her family's exhaustive search for the truth with the help of allies ranging from Senator John McCain to retired General Wesley Clark to numerous investigative reporters. Standing in the way, however, are layers of military bureaucracy, blocking every attempt to get records, and, perhaps, an administration unwilling to admit that it was fully prepared to leverage Pat's accidental death as a tool to increase support for the war. Mary's tender tributes are achinglysincere, though they sometimes sit awkwardly alongside the in-depth details surrounding the search for the truth. But the chilling results yielded by the Tillman family's unflagging efforts indicate that Pat's death was, at best, a result of gross negligence and incompetence on the part of the U.S. Army and, at worst, a sinister coverup by high-ranking officials willing to lie to a soldier's family and hoodwink the public in exchange for higher approval ratings. Moving, powerful and overwhelmingly distressing. Agent: Steve Wasserman/Kneerim & Williams
From the Publisher

“Alongside fond memories and recollections of Pat's charismatic bluntness and self-sacrificing nature, Mary details her family's exhaustive search for the truth with the help of allies ranging from Senator John McCain to retired General Wesley Clark to numerous investigative reporters...the chilling results yielded by the Tillman family's unflagging efforts indicate that Pat's death was, at best, a result of gross negligence and incompetence on the part of the U.S. Army and, at worst, a sinister coverup by high-ranking officials willing to lie to a soldier's family and hoodwink the public in exchange for higher approval ratings.” —Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780641936302
Publisher:
Modern Times
Publication date:
04/29/2008
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
9.24(w) x 6.18(h) x 1.25(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Moving, powerful and overwhelmingly distressing." —-Kirkus

Meet the Author

MARY TILLMAN is a special education teacher in San Jose, California, where she lives.
NARDA ZACCHINO is former associate editor of the Los Angeles Times and former deputy editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. She lives in Berkeley, California.

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