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It’s Always More Than a Game

“Somewhere inside, we hear a voice. It leads us in the direction of who we wish to become. But it is up to us whether or not to follow.” -Pat Tillman

The Story

The young man never paid attention to the numbers on the scoreboard. The only thing he cared about was the play at hand. As long as he made the sacrifices necessary to make the right play, the score would take care of itself.

To him, it was always more than a game. It was never about the touchdowns or the tackles. It was about the men to the right and left of him…

(Scroll to the bottom to read the rest of The Story!)

Experience + Education = Success

After a 20-year military career — which included time spent teaching cadets at West Point — Jonathan Due is familiar with educating service members and understands the unique challenges they face.

Now at the Pat Tillman Foundation, JD helps veterans and their families continue to succeed through scholarships and programs.

“We’re convinced that the combination of experience plus education is a potent mixture for success.”

Listen to the Episode on Google Play or Apple Podcasts!

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News That Matters:

→ “If discipline is what gets you through the door, then drive is what gets us through that brick wall.” — It’s More Than Just A Game, It’s A Lifestyle

→ The economy is changing and how we learn needs to change with it. Read: The Ultimate Guide for Building the Skills You Need in the New Economy

Three little-known — and terrifying — theories from three geniuses. 😏 (Hint: You’ll hear from Alice Miller, Riane Eisler, and Barbara Ehrenreich)

→ Your college major doesn’t matter, but your skills do. A new poll shows that students don’t care to pick a major, they just want to learn skills that will get them hired.

→ Tear a page out of da Vinci’s book, and don’t focus on mastering one skill. Build a skillset instead.

→ “If power were a prescription drug, it would come with a long list of known side effects. It can intoxicate. It can corrupt… But can it cause brain damage?” — Power Causes Brain Damage

→ For your listening pleasure: The New Yorker’s Touchtones Series explores Nirvana’s 1991 “Nevermind” album.

The Story (continued)

…He was drafted to the NFL in 2000, and became the team’s strong safety. At the end of the season, he had broken the franchise record for most tackles in a single season.

Despite quick success at the NFL level, he did not let his success jeopardize his morals or his ethics.

On September 11, 2001, planes struck both towers of the World Trade Center. Another crashed into the Pentagon. And another went down in western Pennsylvania. These were the most horrific terrorist attacks ever made on U.S. soil.

Many young men and women took notice — especially the star safety of the Arizona Cardinals.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army.

His family was shocked and the media bewildered at why he would walk away from millions of dollars to pursue service as an elite Army Ranger.

His brother joined him in his call to serve and both deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the evening of April 22, 2004, in the rugged terrain of eastern Afghanistan, the star safety’s unit was ambushed. He provided covering fire for his fellow soldiers as they escaped. In the night, the gunfight, and fog of war, the fear of every veteran came upon him.

Not death at the hands of the enemy.

But death at the hands of misguided friendly fire.

The star safety and hero is of course… Pat Tillman.

Those who serve in our military know it is not about glory, medals, or publicized heroism.

It’s about purpose, sacrifice, and service on behalf of their nation and on behalf of freedom.

And for those that loved Pat Tillman, they knew that what he pursued was always more than just a game to him.

Pat’s legacy lives on through the Pat Tillman Foundation, an organization giving military veterans and spouses who embody Pat’s principles the tools and support needed to become leaders, no matter how they choose to serve.

So as you go out into the world today, remember that in every moment you have a chance to put it all on the line. And in every new moment, you have another chance to be courageous and make the choices that weaker versions of yourself are too fearful to make. So choose wisely. But don’t be afraid to choose to become a legend.

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It’s Always More Than a Game was originally published in The Mission on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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