Okay, we already knew this part:
His killing was widely reported by the media, including conservative commentators such as Ann Coulter, who called him “an American original virtuous, pure and masculine like only an American male can be.” His May 3, 2004, memorial in San Jose drew 3,500 people and was nationally televised.
Not until five weeks later, as Tillman’s battalion was returning home, did officials inform the public and the Tillman family that he had been killed by his fellow soldiers.
But as it turns out, Tillman the man was far more interesting and complicated than the one dimensional object of Ann Coulter’s necrophiliac fantasies:
He started keeping a journal at 16 and continued the practice on the battlefield, writing in it regularly. (His journal was lost immediately after his death.) Mary Tillman said a friend of Pat’s even arranged a private meeting with Chomsky, the antiwar author, to take place after his return from Afghanistan a meeting prevented by his death. She said that although he supported the Afghan war, believing it justified by the Sept. 11 attacks, “Pat was very critical of the whole Iraq war.”
Baer, who served with Tillman for more than a year in Iraq and Afghanistan, told one anecdote that took place during the March 2003 invasion as the Rangers moved up through southern Iraq.
“I can see it like a movie screen,” Baer said. “We were outside of (a city in southern Iraq) watching as bombs were dropping on the town. We were at an old air base, me, Kevin and Pat, we weren’t in the fight right then. We were talking. And Pat said, ‘You know, this war is so f illegal.’ And we all said, ‘Yeah.’ That’s who he was. He totally was against Bush.”
Another soldier in the platoon, who asked not to be identified, said Pat urged him to vote for Bush’s Democratic opponent in the 2004 election, Sen. John Kerry.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Stephen White a Navy SEAL who served with Pat and Kevin for four months in Iraq and was the only military member to speak at Tillman’s memorial said Pat “wasn’t very fired up about being in Iraq” and instead wanted to go fight al Qaeda in Afghanistan. He said both Pat and Kevin (who has a degree in philosophy) “were amazingly well-read individuals … very firm in some of their beliefs, their political and religious or not so religious beliefs.”
Baer recalled that Tillman encouraged him in his ambitions as an amateur poet. “I would read him my poems, and we would talk about them,” Baer said. “He helped me grow as an individual.”
Tillman subscribed to the Economist magazine, and a fellow soldier said Tillman created a makeshift base library of classic novels so his platoon mates would have literature to read in their down time. He even brought gourmet coffee to brew for his platoon in the field in Afghanistan.