PHOENIX — It was 10 years ago Tuesday that NFL player turned Army solider Pat Tillman was killed in action in Afghanistan.
Tillman played an influential role in the lives of many, especially to those who knew him. Perry Edinger was Tillman’s athletic trainer while Tillman studied at Arizona State University and remained close with him after his graduation. He said he was proud to have known Tillman.
“I feel honored to be known as one of Pat’s friends,” he said. “Because the people Pat hung out with and the people he was friends with, were all very good, very strong people.”
Edinger said Tillman inspired him to be a better person and is part of the reason he now works with children at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital doing pediatric orthopedics.
“He has helped me motivate myself to be a better person every day,” he said. “Ten years later I still have that attitude.”
It will be a quiet reflection for Edinger Tuesday and over the weekend. He said he will participate in Pat’s Run in Tempe on Saturday.
Edinger said he cannot believe how quickly the 10 years has gone by, but said it has allowed those who knew Tillman to celebrate his life.
“There’s a lot more smiles now than there were years ago,” he said. “Less sad reflections, more happy reflections.”
The passing of time is still is difficult for Edinger though, who said he wonders what Tillman would have done if he hadn’t been killed.
“You don’t lose that many memories of him, but you’re just disappointed that he’s been gone that long,” he said. “The things that Pat might have been able to accomplish during these last 10 years might have been really something special.”
Tillman was killed by friendly fire while serving in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Tillman’s decision to leave professional football to enlist in the Army following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and his subsequent death in 2004 received much attention across Arizona and the U.S.
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments