Friday, April 23, 2004

Pat Tillman, re-enlistment rates, and the Spirit of America 

By now you all know that Pat Tillman, a professional football player who turned his back on millions of dollars to serve in the Rangers in Afghanistan, has died in combat. I normally do not write about hot news stories unless I think I have something new to say, but this is an exception. I admired Pat Tillman enormously when he volunteered, and am saddened by his passing. We cannot dishonor the price Pat Tillman and others have paid in Afghanistan and Iraq by failing in our mission.

Meanwhile, amid the pictures of coffins and the sobering news of Pat Tillman's sacrifice, American soldiers are re-enlisting slightly ahead of the Army's objectives. There are people who cannot imagine enlisting in the first place who argue that this success must be because of the sad shape of the economy (assuming, arguendo, it is in sad shape). I think this is hogwash. The economy wasn't bad for Pat Tillman.

If you're just a civilian at home living your life, what small contribution can you make to support our soldiers? My suggestion is that you give a few dollars to the Spirit of America, via the link at the top of the sidebar of this blog. The Spirit of America is a non-profit that raises unencumbered private money so that our men and women at arms can do good works for the people of Afghanistan and Iraq without waiting for the United States Congress or the Pentagon's procurement machinery. Make a contribution, and feel good.

UPDATE: Ryan Boots has a great round-up of Tillman links here.

UPDATE: The Portland Independant Media Center headlines its story on Pat Tillman: 'Dumb Jock Killed In Afghanistan.' It is hard to understand what depravity would motivate somebody to write such a headline. If I were the Washington Post, which wrote the underlying story, I would protest most strenuously. In fact, TigerHawk is going to write a letter to the WaPo suggesting just that. CWCID: Allah.


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