"Yes, there were uplifting tales, moments when tears and pride swelled in everyone watching Tillman's memorial service at the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden. There were jarring moments, too, and they carried the message of the afternoon -- 'challenge yourself' -- more powerfully than those laden with conventional inspiration.This is for you people that believe there are no atheists in fox holes. Bite me.
Tillman's youngest brother, Rich, wore a rumpled white T-shirt, no jacket, no tie, no collar, and immediately swore into the microphone. He hadn't written anything, he said, and with the starkest honesty, he asked mourners to hold their spiritual bromides.
'Pat isn't with God,'' he said. 'He's fucking dead. He wasn't religious. So thank you for your thoughts, but he's fucking dead.''
What? This didn't happen for God, as well as country? A professional athlete turned soldier, and we're supposed to believe that he'd have no use for piety? Robbed of a cliche, where does that leave us?"