The Good Men Project Magazine salutes Pat Tillman.
At the Good Men Project Magazine, we’re all about telling men’s stories. One thing we’ve learned from those stories is that goodness can be elusive; it’s not so much a state of being as it is a lifelong pursuit—one that requires vigilance, hard work, and humility. (A sense of humor doesn’t hurt, either.)
Learning how to be a good man in America today is made that much harder by the scarcity of examples worth emulating—we just don’t seem to have as many worthy heroes as we used to. Maybe that’s a function of the 24-hour news cycle; it’s tough to maintain a heroic public persona when the media won’t let you have a private life.
But, try as we might, we can’t blame the media for everything. America is full of good people, but as a culture, our values are pretty messed up. Whether it’s our sports stars or our politicians, our celebrities or our CEOs, the overriding moral imperative seems to be don’t get caught. Our would-be heroes are good only insofar as their goodness coincides with their self-interest.
Which explains why Pat Tillman’s story has so captivated the American consciousness; finally, there’s a guy who’s not just out for number one. Finally, there’s a guy worth talking about.
Aside from his courage and his selflessness, which he shared with all our men and women in uniform, it was his integrity that so distinguished him from other men in the public sphere. He walked away from a life that—in the eyes of our culture, at least—appeared to be perfect, and he chose his country over himself.
Pat Tillman wasn’t a perfect man, but he was a good man—a man of honor who is worthy of being called a hero.
In this Good Men Project Magazine special section:
♦ Tom Matlack interviews Pat Tillman’s widow, Marie.
♦ Andrew Ladd weaves his take on the Tillman narrative through a review of Jon Krakauer’s Where Men Win Glory.
♦ Three-time Pulitzer Prize-nominated war photojournalist Michael Kamber reacts to the Pat Tillman Story.
♦ Desert Storm veteran John Oliver examines the Tillman story through the lens of a former Army Ranger.