Essay on Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, by Jon Krakauer

Essay on Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, by Jon Krakauer

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Throughout the ages, men and women have been the center of myths and legends, becoming tragic heroes in large part due to the embellishment bestowed upon them over the ages. Perhaps, though, truth can be stranger than fiction. Pat Tillman was a man of many talents and virtues, never satisfied by the mediocre, striving for more excitement, more meaning, in his tragically short time on Earth, and lived out the phrase carpe diem to the letter. Even Pat Tillman had tragic flaws; his unwillingness to be average, his undying loyalty to family and country, and his unusually concrete set of morals all eventually led to his death. These, whatever the outcome might have been, are not, by any means, archetypical tragic flaws. They are, as Jon Krakauer later described, “tragic virtues.” Where Men Win Glory is not solely a tribute to Pat Tillman. What makes it truly unique is its exhaustively comprehensive history leading up to Pat’s death, and just as important, the events that took place after his death, including the cover-ups, scandals, corruption, falsified documents, and lies that helped, also, to emphasize the themes, of which Pat was the epitome. Pat’s loyalty and devotion to the things that he loved, the use of misinformation surrounding his death, and others’ reactions to what Pat considered paramount in his life all played a key role in the tragedy of a man that won glory.
The first thing someone would notice about Pat Tillman was not his size or athletic ability; it was his devotion to everything he loved, be it his family, friends, sport, country, or virtues. Being raised by a family with a history of what the author called “alpha maleness,” shaped his understanding of right and wrong, his ideas of how to earn glory and ...


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... man who displayed both his objective and subjective sides to everyone he encountered by being cautious and calculating at times and emotional and wise at others. He strived for ways to prove to himself more than anyone else that he could overcome tremendous odds to not only survive, but live life to the fullest. When the government failed Pat’s memory, and therefore everyone he loved by not divulging the truth, the story of Pat’s life was written down in order to protect not only Pat’s memory and his loved ones, but also people like Jessica Lynch. It is important to note, however, that the tone of this biography is not one of sadness, remorse, regret, and grief, but one that celebrates who Pat was and what he left behind. During life, Pat Tillman was the embodiment of dedication and loyalty; in death, he is a man who won glory by winning the hearts of America.

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