When Pat Tillman, a member of the Arizona Cardinals, announced his retirement from professional football, he immediately became a hero to a significant number of people. Despite knowing that the millions of cash he was responsible for providing to fight terrorism would be misappropriated, he had steadfastly refused to look into it.
He made the decision in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11th. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he was killed by friendly fire; his death was kept a secret even at his funeral in order not to destroy his reputation as a hero. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a decorated combat soldier and was awarded the Purple Heart. The Purple Heart and the Silver Star were awarded to him in recognition of his valour.