Powerful Essay From Kevin Tillman

Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002 and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004.  Kevin, who was discharged in 2005, has written an essay called After Pat’s Birthday that everyone should read regardless of their political ideology – and reflect on what Kevin has to say.  Thanks Dick for pointing it out.

  • energyguy

    A complete and terse recitation of the events of last few years and a devastating indictment of this administration. Everything the soldiers held dear and wanted to defend about America was perverted here at home, by these leaders. What a family of fearless heros these Tillmans are. I was particularly troubled by his last comments that this generation would be reviled by future generations because of our complicity in this horror done to America’s honor and moral authority. And to think, Kevin still holds hope in our democracy, and the power and responsibility of all citizens at the ballot box.

  • I don’t think the preface “regardless of your ideology” is appropriate. That introduction is more fitting for an essay that looks at all sides of the issue in an analytical manner, not one that picks its side and then fires off one-liners.

    A better introduction to the essay is, “If you don’t support the war, read this powerful essay to hear an emotional and moving advocacy for its immorality.”

  • ps

    Ben, I have to disagree. Brad did not say the essay was balanced and analytical. We should all read some viewpoints of those we disagree with, particularly when they come from those who have put their lives at risk and lost loved ones. If we all choose our sides and listen to only those we agree with, we will continue to have unproductive, bipartisan shouting matches – kind of like most of the political ads we see and hear this election season. Listen, debate, consider and when in doubt read the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

  • Incredibly moving …

    Some perspectives in prose from a 7th grader back in 2002:

    O President! Our President!
    O President! Our President! our nation waits in fear
    In fear of war that creeps on towards our nation oh so near.
    Our boat will go through many storms, of weatherings untold
    The world will never be the same, the same it was of old.
    But O people! people! people!
    O the citizens of our nation
    Who will no longer live in peace
    A dream beyond imagination.

    O President! Our President! rise up and hear your UN friends;
    Rise up

  • Colonel Wayne

    Message to Kevin Tillman.
    Get over it. Your continued bickering and strident strong criticism holds you in worse stead then does it do anything for the memory of your dear brother. I’m a 30 year retired officer and if I had anything reinforced to me it is that war is hell. How can you expect anything good to come of it…..???. certain people seek the mix of combat and though we honor their memories when they meet an unfortunate demise we also disservice them when we can’t accept what they willingly chose to do and the consequences of those choices. In this modern day we expect everything to be clean and pretty because we have heretofore unequalled visibility and seemingly more control of the battlefield than ever before. But we are error-prone human beings and are led by others who are too, who look after their own best interests first, not to discriminate but as a human condition – worse even on the battlefield. If you and your dear brother can’t accept the heat you should have gotten out of the kitchen. He could have I believe, but you seemingly can’t. Put it behind you and continue to honor his name when you can…… but for now your strident voice only adds to the white-noise. We all lament his passing and the circumstances. You won’t be satisfied till more people suffer for their unprovable errors of omission or comission…. when will it be enough for you? It was the battlefield, after-all, remember? Enough said.