January 24, 1978 |
San Jose, California, U.S.
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||2002–05|
|Unit|| 2nd Ranger Battalion
75th Ranger Regiment
|Battles/wars||2003 invasion of Iraq
Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan
|Other work||The Tillman Story (promotion)|
Kevin Tillman (born January 24, 1978 in San Jose, California) is an American anti–Iraq War activist, a former U.S. Army soldier and former Minor League Baseball second baseman. In 2002, Tillman left the Cleveland Indians organization after the September 11 attacks to enlist in the United States Army. With his older brother, former National Football League star Pat Tillman, he completed the Ranger Indoctrination Program in 2002, and they were both assigned to 2nd Battalion—75th Ranger Regiment. Kevin and Pat Tillman were deployed to the Middle East together as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2004, Pat was killed in combat while in Spera, Afghanistan by friendly fire.
Tillman attended and played baseball at Arizona State University before transferring to California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo where he also played Division I baseball and led the Mustangs in hits and on-base percentage during the 2001 season.
Tillman was drafted by the Anaheim Angels in the 31st round of the June 1999 MLB Amateur Draft. Prior to enlisting, he played just one season (2001) with the Burlington Indians and the Akron Aeros in the Cleveland Indians farm system.
Tillman and his more well-known brother, Pat (a then-current NFL player), enlisted together on May 31, 2002, completed training and selection for the elite United States Army Rangers in late 2002, and were assigned to the 2nd Ranger Battalion in Fort Lewis, Washington. Both Pat and Kevin Tillman were deployed to South West Asia as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
In July 2005, fulfilling his 3-year enlistment, Tillman was honorably discharged from the army.
On April 24, 2007, Pete Geren, acting U.S. Secretary of the Army stated "We as an army failed in our duty to the Tillman family, the duty we owe to all the families of our fallen soldiers: Give them the truth, the best we know it, as fast as we can."
Awards and decorations
Kevin Tillman has been an outspoken opponent of the George W. Bush administration and the Iraq War. He has also been promoting the documentary which portrays the U.S. Government cover-up of his brother's death, The Tillman Story.
In late 2008, Tillman published the book The Transparent Pillage.
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- "We believe this narrative was intended to deceive the family but more importantly the American public."
- "The deception surrounding this case was an insult to the family: but more importantly, its primary purpose was to deceive a whole nation. We say these things with disappointment and sadness for our country. Once again, we have been used as props in a Pentagon public relations exercise."
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Scott Lindlaw and Erica Werner (AP) (2007). "Ranger: "I Was Ordered Not To Tell Them"". volunteertv.com. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
- Johanna Neuman (2007-04-24). "Soldier said he was told to keep quiet on details of Tillman's death". LA Times. Archived from the original on 2007-04-27.
- Scott Lindlaw (AP) (2007-04-24). "Pat Tillman's brother accuses military of 'intentional falsehoods' in friendly fire incident". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
- "Family blasts latest investigation of Pat Tillman's friendly fire death as 'shamefully unacceptable'". mercurynews.com.[dead link]
- Michael Luo (2007-04-24). "Government Challenged on Lynch and Tillman". nytimes.com.