Tuesday marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Pat Tillman, the NFL star who passed up a lucrative football contract to serve his country in Afghanistan.
Tillman was killed by friendly fire in 2004 while serving as an Army ranger. He grew up in San Jose, played football at Arizona State, and went on to a celebrated NFL career.
But, following the Sept. 11 attacks, Tillman passed up the big bucks of the NFL to join the military.
Mike Carrozzo, a former football coach at Leland High School, where Tillman played, said that sacrifice still resonates with students.
“As a coach or as a teacher, it’s something you’d never want to forget,” Carrozzo said. “And you constantly want to teach these kids, because there is no greater selfless sacrifice that I could ever think of.”
A foundation created in Tillman’s name has provided scholarships to some 300 military veterans.
This Saturday, there will be Pat Tillman tribute runs in Arizona, San Francisco and San Jose.