Huffpost Politics

Mary Tillman: The Story Around Pat's Death "Was A Public Deception"

Posted: Updated:


Pat Tillman's mother Mary sat down
with Katie Couric to discuss how the government still hasn't told the whole truth surrounding her son's 2004 death in Afghanistan. Read an excerpt and watch video from the interview below:

At that time, Tillman's family was led to believe that he was killed by the enemy, which was reinforced when the Army awarded him a Silver Star for his "gallantry in action against an armed enemy." They were told his convoy had been ambushed and he had charged up a hill, forcing the enemy to withdraw and saving the lives of his fellow Rangers.

"Was there any solace in the story the military told you about how courageous Pat had been?" Couric asks.

"Well, of course. But what's interesting is the story itself seemed so contrived, even then, even before he knew that it was contrived. It had this contrived feel to it," Tillman says.

Asked why, she says, "Well, you know, the soldier, you know, running up the ridge line, firing at the enemy. You know, saving his men. It did sound kind of like a John Wayne movie."

Then, about a month later there was a stunning announcement: the Army had been investigating his death and determined that Tillman was killed by his own men.

Asked how long she thinks it took the Army to realize her son had been killed by friendly fire, Tillman says, "Oh, they knew immediately. It was pretty evident right away. All the other soldiers on the ridge line suspected that that's exactly what happened."