When discussing the Iliad and Odyssey in class and learning about all things “Epic,” I couldn’t help but let my mind wander and explore the history of The United States while trying to put a finger upon this particular topic of discussion. While allowing my mind to wander my mind reached places like the Revolutionary War and the instrumental men such as George Washington that displayed such great faith and trust in the Lord to provide a country free of tyranny. I also passed over The Civil War and thought of brave men that had deep enough conviction in their hearts to fight their fellow men for basic rights that they believed their neighbors should have. I thought of many brave young men who at the call of duty stormed the beaches of Normandy, France where so many laid down their lives in order for others to enjoy freedoms and peace. All of these embody pieces and bits of an “Epic.” These instances have not just one hero but many heroes. They embody a nation of determined men who will defend others freedoms even if it cost them their own freedoms and lives.
But after discussing the Trojan War and quickly referencing Brad Pitt and the movie Troy, my mind was fixed on one Epic in particular that resonates deep within me. For those of us that are avid sports fans know the story of Pat Tillman well, but many others have not had the pleasure of reading or hearing about this wonderful hero. Pat Tillman was a standout athlete and football player at Arizona State and later with the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). Pat had made it to the big-time and reached one of his many lofty goals. But unlike most young men in our country, playing football was not Pat’s ultimate athletic goal. It was only a means to pursue his true number one goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. After a few years of playing in the NFL, Pat left millions of dollars on the table and talked his younger brother, who was chasing his own dream of becoming a Major League Baseball player, into pursuing this goal alongside him.
Who in their right mind would do something like this, who would leave millions of dollars, plus fame and fortune, and lavish lifestyles behind to defend our freedoms. The only answer that comes to my mind is EPIC men. You see, America’s EPIC is made of men like Pat Tillman, men with options. Men with choices, but men that would rather provide and protect those options and choices for future generations.