NFL star Pat Tillman gave up a lucrative sports career to serve his country in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. This week on “Pat & Stu,” Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere talked about his story, which the NFL highlighted last year with a special “A Football Life” segment.
“Talk about a hero. Talk about a guy who really put his principles where his mouth was and went out on a limb,” Pat said.
Tillman was offered a nearly $10 million contract with the Los Angeles Rams, but he turned it down out of loyalty to the Arizona Cardinals.
“He was an incredible guy,” Pat said. “He had really strong convictions.”
Tillman ended up leaving sports after the 2001 season so he could serve in the U.S. Army; in 2004, he was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.
This week, an award in his name for another Afghanistan veteran was announced. Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro will receive The Pat Tillman Award for Service after he was nearly killed in an explosion while serving in the U.S. Air Force in Afghanistan. Told after the blast that he might never walk again, Toro was walking and breathing on his own again less than a year later and re-enlisted. He is now the “first 100-percent combat disabled Air Force technician to re-enlist,” according to ESPN.