PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Many people around the nation know the name Pat Tillman well, especially Arizonans. What people might not know is at a military base more than 7,000 miles away from Arizona, there was a framed Pat Tillman jersey kept as a memento for soldiers.
In honor of his legacy, Tillman's jersey was kept at the United Service Organizations (USO) Pat Tillman Center in Bagram Airfield base in Afghanistan, the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan. As the U.S. left the base, all American mementos had to be removed.
"We are pleased that all Pat Tillman memorabilia is safely back in the U.S. from our overseas operations," Carla Garcia, the executive director of USO Arizona, said. "We are at this time determining how best to put it on permanent display."
Tillman is a prominent figure in military and NFL history. The Arizona State University alum was drafted by the hometown Arizona Cardinals in 1998. He left the NFL to serve in the United States Army after the 9/11 attacks. In 2004, Tillman died in Afghanistan from friendly fire.