Hearing on Tillman, Lynch Incidents: A Callous Reaction

April 24, 2007
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is continuing its hearing entitled "Misleading Information from the Battlefield." The hearing is focusing on the death of Army Ranger Specialist Patrick Tillman in Afghanistan and the capture and rescue of Army Private Jessica Lynch in Iraq. Chairman Henry Waxman questions Specialist Patrick Tillman's mother, Mary Tillman, about the callous response she received from some to her persistence in getting the truth about her son's death:

Mary Tillman:

"...He's still a Colonel - Col. Kauzlarich said, and I'm appalled that he would make these comments, he's entitled to his opinion of course, but he said that we would never be satisfied, because we're not Christians. Spirituality doesn't enter into this I guess, in his mind. But you know, we're not Christians, so we can't put him to rest, and that's why we would never be satisifed and we're just a pain in the ass basically... He also said that it must make us feel terrible that Pat's worm dirt."

An UnAmerican Tragedy

Mike Fish, ESPN

In an interview with ESPN.com, Kauzlarich said: "When you die, I mean, there is supposedly a better life, right? Well, if you are an atheist and you don't believe in anything, if you die, what is there to go to? Nothing. You are worm dirt. So for their son to die for nothing, and now he is no more -- that is pretty hard to get your head around that. So I don't know how an atheist thinks. I can only imagine that that would be pretty tough."

Asked by ESPN.com whether the Tillmans' religious beliefs are a factor in the ongoing investigation, Kauzlarich said, "I think so. There is not a whole lot of trust in the system or faith in the system [by the Tillmans]. So that is my personal opinion, knowing what I know."