Skip to comments.Shooter fears he killed Pat Tillman
Posted on 04/18/2014 11:37:23 AM PDT by Enlightened1
For the first time, one of the three Army Ranger platoon mates who fired at Pat Tillman speaks publicly about what happened that fateful day, ten years ago this week.
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- In his first public statements about the death of Pat Tillman, the former NFL player turned Army Ranger, one of the fellow Rangers involved in the 2004 friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" he has lived for 10 years with the thought that he might have fired the fatal shots.
"It is possible, in my mind, that I hit him," said Steven Elliott, who had been engaged in his first firefight as an Army Ranger when Tillman died on April 22, 2004, in the mountainous terrain of southeast Afghanistan.
(Excerpt) Read more at espn.go.com ...
I can’t imagine what that must feel like
I can’t either. But I never ever could imagine going public with this.
If this guy thinks he feels bad now, just wait till his e-mail inbox fills up with hate and even death threats.
Knowing that it happens even with the best trained forces doesn’t make it any easier to live with when you are the one on the trigger.
There is a scene in the German film STALINGRAD in which a young German soldier kills his friend in a close quarters factory fight. Later he is consoled by a veteran who says, “happens all the time”.
“It is possible, in my mind, that I hit him,” said Steven Elliott”
There’s true guilt, and then false guilt. If he wasn’t reckless,but was doing the best he could in a firefight, then it was an accident. And I’m sure Tillman wouldn’t hold it against him.
Because you are a dumb ass?
Did you ID your target? A big white guy in desert camo with American weapons is probably not Taliban.
Did you have any situational awareness where the rest of your platoon was before you opened fired?
And PS - the unit was not even under enemy fire when this incident happened.
2banana - OEF Veteran.
Just saying... That might be harsh given the circumstances. From what I remember reading at the time Tillman came over a ridge with a one or two others, they weren’t ordered to so it was not like this was coordinated at any level. The guys that shot were very exposed looking at gunmen taking a position on a hill above them.
One night my platoon was up on a ridge line north of Danang. We were looking down on the bridge guarded by another company in our battalion. A firefight broke out and we could hear the chatter on the company tactical radio freq.
We could also see the tracers from both sides of the firefight... all orange! US ammo tracers are reddish-orange, AK-47s are greenish.
So we called ‘em up and said, “Cool it guys, you’re shooting at your own patrol.”
Thankfully, no one was hit. It is terrible when someone is wounded or killed, especially by friendly fire. But, it happens.
Look I do no not fault the Rangers for shooting Pat Tillman.
Unfortunately that happens in combat.
General Patton was notorious for killing his own guys in a race to get into Germany. I did not even know that until I spoke to two different WWII veterans (at different times in my life) that both told me that. Both combat vets did not like the General at all. That’s why they nick named him old blood and guts.
Anyhow, I did not care for the Feds lying (once again) about the incident.
I feel awful for Pat and all the Rangers involved.
I agree. After reading Krakauer’s Where Men Win Glory, I sure got the impression that this was much worse than simply “fog of war” confusion. It was a complete fustercluck.
Yeah - and these soldiers are supposed to be tip of the spear SOF rangers and not some right out of basic E-2s...
You might want to check the after action reports. Tillman was operating with an Afghani in local garb. They were, IIRC, attempting to get eyes on some Taliban who stopped the tail-end of their convoy. The gunners took the Afghani-ally and Tillman under fire.
What’s the range on a Ma-Deuce? It’s considerable. You’d need binoculars to ID the targets among the rocks above the convoy. And if they spotted the Afghani first...
You mean the official aar that covered up that it was a friendly fire incident?
no the revised aar.