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Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  666 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
On April 22, 2004, Lieutenant David Uthlaut received orders from Khost, Afghanistan, that his platoon was to leave the town of Magarah and "have boots on the ground before dark" in Manah, a small village on the border of Pakistan. It was an order the young lieutenant protested vehemently, but the commanders at the Tactical Command Center disregarded his objections. Uthla
Hardcover, 344 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by Modern Times (first published May 8th 2007)
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Nov 11, 2009 Jon rated it it was amazing
Mary Tillman is not a writer by nature, she was a school teacher who gave birth to three glorious sons. One who became the Pac-10 Defensiver Player of the Year in 1997 as well as set the Arizona Cardinals record for tackles in a seaon with 224. This incredible athlete was aSafety in the NFL, all of 5'11' and a little over 200 pounds dripping wet. He made the ultimate sacrifice to serve our country when he had everything most of us would ever want. A beautifuly family and a job that paid him to ...more
I read this book because I had some unanswered questions after reading Jon Krakauer's book "Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman". Most of these questions were of a personal nature, so this book, written by Pat's mother, was the perfect way to answer those questions. Yes, she did answer them for me as well as told her side of the story.

This book is not a literary piece. It is more like the journal of a grieving mother-bear who has lost her cub in an unjust way and seeks justice for hi
Jan 15, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very sad episode in our history both relative to the Tillman family and what it reveals about our military and political leaders (in this case Bush, Rumsfeld and crew). The material gets a bit dry and repetitive in places, but overall all the military jargon is made very tolerable.
An important book in terms of revealing the difference between honest, well-meaning patriotism versus the vacuous jingoism we see everyday. Can't help but love this family.
Dec 19, 2011 Matt rated it it was amazing
An amazing book. Very emotional. An excellent example of why no organization (especially the US military) should be allowed to investigate itself. From incompetence to criminal negligence to a cover-up conspiracy, this book exposes the moral vacuum that was the Bush administration and its military leadership.

Also recommend Jon Krakauer's Where Men Win Glory on the same subject.
Apr 13, 2011 Keri rated it really liked it
This was a hard audiobook to listen to and tears were falling less than 10 minutes in to this tribute to Pat Tillman, and never stopped. I actually had to take a break from it for a while and listen to something a little lighter. I will not taint his spirit by talking about the injustice that this family went through and the politics behind his murder, but my heart breaks for the Tillman family and for all the world. Pat Tillman was a man who would have made a positive difference and who would ...more
May 20, 2010 Trish rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
A deeply personal tribute to Pat Tillman, by his mother Mary. I am impressed with her courage and unrelenting determination in demanding the truth about her son's death. Sadly, it is likely we will never know.

After reading Krakauer's book Where Men Win Glory and this one, I am much closer to believing Pat Tillman was murdered. The contributing circumstances were more than simply negligence--there are way too many huge inconsistencies; complete disregard for regulation, destroyed evidence, alter
Sep 20, 2010 Ann rated it liked it
I enjoyed getting to know Pat Tillman through his mom's writing. He was someone I would have loved to have a beer with - a very interesting and honorable individual. He and his family deserved better from our country. I hope his family finds solace in that many of us know the government did a great injustice to them and Pat. I for one will not forget Pat's sacrifice.
wow....just wow....i cannot get over this book. i couldn't stop crying :( this book has definitely gotten me to ponder deeply about the government and military.

you can truly tell this book was written from the heart. i applaud pat's family for pursuing & not giving up on the government for answers
Jul 10, 2012 Toby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pat Tillman, the former Arizona Cardinals safety who left football to become an Army Ranger, was killed in southeastern Afghanistan. Great read for ex or present military members or folks considering a military career. Left me feeling anxious....and curious about his motivation.
Chris Ross
I read this book after listening to Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer and it is a remarkable book. I cried a lot and it reads very fast like an action film. You get a pretty good sense of some things that happen in the military that the average, civilian, American never hears or knows about.
Nov 04, 2010 Marcia rated it really liked it
Shelves: grown-up-books
Jon Krakauer used this book as a resource for Where men win glory so I wanted to read it. There is no greater loss for a mother than of her child, and the circumstances of Pat Tillman's death are so tragic. It is just heart-breaking as she shares the stories from a childhood that mold a man. This book does goes into a conspiracy theory that Pat was killed intentionally, which Krakauer doesn't entertain, and the facts don't support. The government's mishandling of the case is well documented ...more
Nov 08, 2009 Stephanie rated it liked it
I was intrigued by this story after hear mike talk about him. I enjoyed the family history but was very upset that I spent all the time reading it when it has such a sad ending. I was also very mad about how he was recognized and was a "hero" but the government kinda screwed him and his family. Those are not the stories about the US that make one proud or happy. I feel bad for the family and wonder why the wife was left out. I see the mom's perspective but also wonder why the wife did not say ...more
Oct 20, 2011 Hailey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I think everybody should read this book because it is very inspiring. It makes me think about the hard decisions more than once. This book also shows me how well the U.S. government really is. This book has opened my eyes to see that the people who serve in the army really need to be respected. I hope people read this book to find out the real truth of Pat Tillman and the family he left behind. Pat had a loving mom who wrote this book because she was determined to find out the truth about her ...more
Dec 23, 2015 Ijeoma rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books of all-time. It's a wonderful book about Pat Tillman, one of my favorite people in the world. His mother, Mary Tillman, is an excellent writer and her book is very interesting. She provides the type of details I'd have asked her if I could. There are some inside information, which I am grateful for. It was nice of her to include an email Pat and Kevin wrote to her on Mother's Day 'cause it shows that they're very thoughtful, -respectful, and -articulate. There ...more
May 19, 2008 Art rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sonny
Incredible story of the life and death of Pat Tillman and the ongoing cover-up by top government officials about the true cause of his death in Afghanistan.
To this day, the Tillman family of San Jose has not gotten a straight answer as to the truth of how his death occurred and the government fabricated stories about his death for the sole purpose of gloriying the war effort.
As a matter of fact, Pat Tillman was 100% AGAINST the Iraq war, where he was first deployed. Finally he was deployed to Af
Robert Parker
May 20, 2016 Robert Parker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since I know all the main characters, it was difficult to read. Our book club discussion on Saturday will be emotional. The first half of the book details Pat's life from childhood to his death...much of which I read through tears. The second half is more calculating...the documentation, hearings, interviews collected in the attempt to get to the bottom of the Tillman cover-up. I'm afraid the book hits on the broader theme which is that by and large you can't trust your government to tell you ...more
Aug 27, 2014 Wendyhodges rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listening to this book was quite powerful as it is narrated by Mary Tillman. Her and her family's tenacious efforts to uncover the truth about her son's death and the maddening actions of the U.S. government and military in the aftermath are commendable. I also appreciate her efforts to highlight the stories of other families facing similar obstacles who don't have the benefit of having a world famous son to spur better results. I highly recommend one listen to this in conjunction with ...more
Mar 09, 2011 Joey rated it liked it
I read this book after reading the Tillman book by Krakauer - it makes a great companion...but I found it to be a bit confusing - timelines run together and there are a million military personnel names. It was touching to hear about Pat and the way he was, but it was almost too personal. The part where his mom describes seeing his corpse in the was almost too much. But what this book drives home is this: The Tillman family is a family of badasses and free thinkers that are not to be ...more
Jamie Fodale
Jul 27, 2012 Jamie Fodale rated it really liked it
It was a good book. I saw the documentary on Pat Tillman and wanted to know more. I love how his family isn't afraid or intimidated to say and do what they wanted and what they think Pat would have wanted. It's a sad tragic story. His family was relentless in finding the truth. What is worse is no one was punished for this crime. There are so many names it's sometimes hard to keep them straight. It would have been helpful to see the map of the area where Pat was killed earlier in the book. ...more
Brad Woodlee
May 10, 2015 Brad Woodlee rated it it was amazing
Pat Tillman has always been an inspiration to me - live life to its fullest, and always challenge yourself, get outside of your comfort zone.

His mother Mary Tillman (called Dannie by her loved ones), is my new hero. She writes about her pain of losing Pat, and how the rest of the family (Pat's wife, his father, two brothers, etc.) and it hurt to read (read, I cried like a baby). Please look into reading this, and know that to leave your mark, you need to love life, and give it your all!
Jun 22, 2016 Ruth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe 2.5 stars. This was a hard book to read, and a hard book to rate. Pain, anger, and bitterness permeate this story, and it's understandable. Years of lies, and absolutely no resolution in the end. I can't imagine going through that as a mother. It was interesting and informative, but it was very repetitive, one-sided, unforgiving, and borderline conspiracy theory in some regards. Again, it's understandable given what they went through, but hard to read.
Oct 22, 2008 Peter rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 26, 2014 Mike rated it liked it
Shelves: sociology
I picked this book up at the library thinking that I owed it to Mary Tillman to read her book for the sacrifice that her son gave. I will overlook her complaints against Bush-Cheney-Rumsfield but her gripe with the US Army is wholly legitimate and deserving of a meaningful response. Some portion of the US Army clearly intended to deceive the American people about Pat's death and it does not appear that those individuals were held accountable for their efforts to cover-up the truth.
Jun 23, 2012 Betsy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a really intense look at a mother's love for her son. She would stop at nothing to find out the truth about what happened to him. I kept having to put it down and go for walks between chapters because it upset me so much, and it's not like I didn't go into it already knowing how the story ends. It inspired me to sign up for and run in Pat's Run in Tempe for the past two years and I think I'll keep going every year for the rest of my life.
Jun 04, 2014 Mardi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really informative book on the Tillman family's trials in trying to get an answer from the government about Pat Tillman's death. It gave several flashbacks into Pat's childhood and how he developed into the man he became. This book is written with a Mother's bias; and a Mother should be biased. However, I think the author poured her heart into this book as a way to tell Pat's story, and to expose the military coverup.

It was well-written and I enjoyed it immensely.
Jonathan Lu
Jul 31, 2013 Jonathan Lu rated it liked it
Had to pick this one up after getting captivated by Jon Krakauer's "Where Men Win Glory". This tribute by Pat Tillman's mother was not nearly as well written as Krakauer's, but naturally filled with the pain of his loss, it serves a wholly different purpose. There's not much more you will pick up about Tillman's great life from reading this novel, but certainly I have to say worth it in celebration and remembrance.
Michael McLean
Aug 12, 2011 Michael McLean rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Just finished this today. A wrenching tale by Pat Tillman's mother. Pat comes across as a guy you'd like to meet with more brains than his considerable brawn. If you're a fan of George Bush you won't be after reading this. Bush and his minions put patriotic propaganda before soldiers' lives and the peace of their families. There is no happy ending.
May 16, 2012 Irene rated it liked it
I read Jon Krakauer's book about Pat Tillman, in which he often refers to this book by Pat's mom. Even though the subject matter is the same, it is not "a waste of time" to read both books, since they are seen from a different perspective. This account is, of course, more personal and emotional. Since a lot is written in the form of flashbacks, the story often skips from one topic to another.
Nov 15, 2010 Kerry rated it really liked it
I read Jon Krakauer's book Where Men Win Glory first. It may have been a clearer narrative but Ms. Tillman's book brings home the confusion & continued grief from the lies & cover-up. It's more baffling that her son was killed after reading her story. This book makes me very uncomfortable about these wars & everything that goes along with them.
West Hartford Public Library
Feb 11, 2016 West Hartford Public Library rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jeanne, b
Incredibly intimate account given by mother of a son killed in dubious circumstances and her quest to find the truth about his death. Integrity and dedication are manifest in every page of this beautiful and haunting biography. Hours, days, weeks, months and years of research form the basis of her presentation along with poignant memories. Its effect goes beyond words.
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