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ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL REPORT

Iraq Journals

Glimpses of life in a war-torn country by GNS national security correspondent John Yaukey and photo director Jeff Franko.

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General: Iraqi troops improve

January 26, 2005

Parties waging a polite battle to control Najaf

January 25, 2005

In Iraq, the question is: To vote or not to vote

January 25, 2005

Politics popular in Shiite areas

January 20, 2005

 

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Dispatches from Iraq

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Tuesday, July 8

Former NFL player back safely from Middle East

By Tim Tyers | The Arizona Republic

Former Arizona Cardinal football player Pat Tillman and his brother Kevin have returned stateside from Operation Iraqi Freedom and have been selected by the Army to participate in a three-month-long elite Ranger training regimen.

"The boys have been back for a couple of weeks now, and now they are stationed in the Tacoma, Washington, area," their father, Patrick Tillman Sr., said Monday. "They are both healthy and fine, and we, of course, we are very relieved and very happy."

Pat Tillman, a safety who played in the NFL four years, walked away from a three-year, $3.6 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals and his brother Kevin gave up a minor league baseball career to enlist in the Army in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

Since enlisting in the Army with the plan of becoming Rangers, the Tillman brothers have refused all media interviews, a policy they still enforce.

Their sacrifice as well as their service in the war in Iraq will be recognized on ESPN's 2003 ESPY Awards on July 16, when they will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

The brothers, both former Arizona State athletes, will not be in attendance at the ESPY Awards program to accept the award.

"No, that will be brat No. 3, their younger brother Richard, who will accept it," laughed Patrick Tillman, a lawyer in Alameda, Calif. "To tell you the truth, the boys are not too pleased about the ESPY thing. But I am. I'm very happy about it. I'm proud.

"I better be careful here and not get too yappy about it."

Patrick Tillman would not elaborate when asked if his two sons saw much combat, other than to say, "That's something they won't talk about very much."

Are they still as gung-ho about being Army Rangers now that they have experienced combat?

"They are still pleased with the decision that they made," he said.