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November 12, 2013 > A discussion about the truth

A discussion about the truth

Submitted By Barry Zepel

Mary Tillman, who has taken her familyÕs efforts public for nearly a decade to find out the truth about the death of her son and Army Ranger Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, will speak Nov. 18 at California State University, East Bay. Pat Tillman gave up his career as a star player in the National Football League after the 9/11 attacks to join the Army.

Mary Tillman is co-author, with journalist Narda Zacchino, of ÒBoots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman,Ó published in 2008 by Rodale Inc.

The TillmanÕs presentation, sponsored by CSUEBÕs Center for Sport and Social Justice (CSSJ) and the Department of Kinesiology, will focus on her and the Tillman familyÕs efforts to learn the truth about the cause of death of the former Arizona Cardinal safety killed at the age of 27 in 2004 after tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Army Special Operations Command initially claimed that Tillman and his unit were attacked in an apparent ambush on a road outside of the village of Sperah, near the Pakistan border. Then the story changed after his burial, with investigations by the Department of Defense and U.S. Congress determining that his death was caused by friendly fire. Through the efforts of the Tillman family, several investigations have followed to seek the truth around both the circumstances of Pat TillmanÕs death and to acknowledge and hold accountable those responsible for his death. Mary Tillman concedes that this may never come.

ÒThere was an attack or ambush, but Pat was killed by his own troops,Ó Mary Tillman said.

ÒMary Tillman is generally a very private person, but she has become very public in order to force the U.S. military to tell the truth about how her son was killed,Ó said Rita Liberti, CSSJ director and a Cal State East Bay kinesiology professor. ÒMary Tillman continues this public role in sharing PatÕs story as a way to support and assist other military families whose loved ones have been killed in similar circumstances.Ó

The goal of Cal State East BayÕs Center for Sport and Social Justice is the encouragement and dissemination of political discussion and action around sport, including race, class, gender, and disability. Admission to this discussion is free.

Mary Tillman Discussion
Monday, Nov. 18
6:30 p.m.
Cal State East Bay, Arts and Education Bldg., Rm. 1203
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd, Hayward
(510) 885-3050

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