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Memo for Memorial Day

a Found Poem

by JANINE POMMY VEGA

Tillman Likely Killed by Friendly Fire
Associated Press article in NY Kingston Freeman, May 30, 2004.

Former NFL defensive back
Pat Tillman, 27, walked away from
a $3.6 million contract with the Arizona
Cardinals to join the Army
following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

According to Army investigations,
Tillman was shot to death April 22
after a friendly Afghan soldier in Tillman’s unit
was fired upon,
and other U.S. soldiers then fired
in the same direction.

But an Afghan military officer
told the Associated Press on Saturday
that Tillman died because of a
"misunderstanding,"
when two mixed groups of American
and Afghan soldiers began firing wildly
in the confusion following a land mine
explosion.
Speaking on condition of anonymity,
the Afghan official said,
"There were no enemy forces present
when Tillman died."

At Fort Bragg, an officer
with the 30th Engineer Battalion said
the circumstances of Tillman’s death
do not change his heroism.
"A lot of us sacrifice something, but
no one sacrificed as much as he did to join,"
Sgt. Matt Harbursky said,
as he prepared to play
a round of golf at the base course.
"And it really doesn’t matter how he
was killed, it’s sad."

Willow, NY, Memorial Day May 31, 2004.

JANINE POMMY VEGA, author of twelve books and chapbooks of poems since 1968, lives in Willow, New York.