THE LETTER by Marie Tillman


My Journey Through Love, Loss, and Life
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The death of Pat Tillman, who put his NFL career on hold to serve his country, was a double blow to his wife.

Upon joining the Army after 9/11, Tillman was first sent on a tour of duty to Iraq and then deployed to Afghanistan, where he was killed. Though the first reports claimed he had died a heroic death under enemy fire, soon thereafter a different truth emerged: He had been killed by friendly fire. Marie Tillman had to face not only the loss of her husband, but the fact that the Army had attempted to turn his tragic death into a public-relations coup, awarding him a Silver Star. In this moving debut memoir, the author describes her struggle to deal with grief and to come to terms with the cynical abuse of his sacrifice. She offers a nuanced portrait of Tillman, who, even in college refused to accept the role of jock. When he decided to leave the NFL for the military, he refused to talk to the press because he didn't want to be made into a symbol. Although they were “disconnected from [their] previous lives,” they were “focused on being part of…this greater cause.” The Tillmans were not deterred by their belief in the illegality of the Iraq War, and they remained committed to his decision to serve.

An inspiring account of the author’s difficult decision to become a public advocate for military families.

Pub Date: June 26th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-446-57145-6
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2012


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