Training is hard; and when you're doing it right it is gut-wrenching hard. The Pat Tillman story is a story about training as not just a means to an end; training is the end.
Ever since I heard the story that he had walked away from millions in the NFL to enlist in the US Army, I was fascinated by his story. I would have to think that many of us were caught up in post-9/11 patriotism. I thought Tillman's decision was the prime example. Boy, was I wrong. His story is so much more enthralling and important than that. This book details his intelligence, his commitment to nature (and the solitude of hiking) and his steadfast commitment to honoring his obligations.
I turned away from the Tillman story when rumors were surfacing about the cover-up regarding his death in Afghanistan. I was disgusted and the subject made me wish I had never heard of him, made me ashamed of the US Army, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their cohorts.
When this book came out, I was finally able to open up to the story again. It is a great read-- thought-provoking, deeply moving and adventurous. Tillman would have been a great person to know. His ability to see beyond the moment and understand that he would be training all his life was best summed up in this exchange: when Bruce Snyder, Tillman's football coach at Arizona State, told him he planned to red-shirt him as was done with most freshman-- extending his eligibility and adding 1 year to his college stay, Tillman replied: you can do whatever you want with me, Coach, but in 4 years I'm gone. I've got things to do with my life.
Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman - Jon Krakauer - Hardcover (ISBN 9780385522267) - Buy Books, Music and Movies at Borders