Fourteen professional football players have died while serving in combat for our country. One of the most notable was Jack Lummus, a US Marine and player for the New York Giants who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for gallant service at the Battle of Iwo Jima.
Here in Arizona, we have been honoring the service of Pat Tillman since his death in Afghanistan in 2004. Tillman was a standout at Arizona State University and got to play his professional career here in Arizona after being drafted by the Cardinals.
He was an incredible player, but after the September 11th attacks, his focus changed. After completing that season, he turned down a $3.6 million dollar offer from the Cardinals and enlisted in the United States Army.
He went to Ranger School, earned his tab and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. During his service in Afghanistan, he was killed in a friendly fire incident.
His adopted home state has honored him in a number of ways: a bridge over Hoover Dam is named for him as is a plaza at the Cardinals’ stadium in Glendale. In Tempe, a run is held every April in his honor.
This year, we will also be having a run in Tucson.
The ASU Old Pueblo Chapter is hosting the run, which they are calling the Pat Tillman Honor Run. The group coordinating this event, the second year it has been in Tucson, has been meeting at my office and my staff has been on hand to help. Proceeds will go to the Tillman Scholarship Foundation.
Tillman was an ace athlete, but also was very well read (one of his favorites was Henry David Thoreau). Honoring him with a run to support students is probably the best tribute we can pay to him.
The run will take place on April 18th. They are inviting all ASU fans, alumni and supporters of the military to participate. Of course, every member of our community is welcome to participate. The run will be casual and family-friendly, so don’t worry if you don’t have one of those “26.2” signs in your car window.
For more information about the run or to sign up, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tucsontillman-honor-run-registration-85664812761.
The Pima County office of Emergency Management has been running an emergency alerts website for a while now. It’s a convenient way for residents to prepare for and check on major emergency situations.
They’ve expanded on that and they now have a service that will alert you on your smart phone or through your email.
You can now receive an alert when an emergency occurs, and get real-time information to help keep you safe and informed when you sign up for MyAlerts, Pima County’s mass notification system. When an emergency notification is issued, you'll receive a message via the communication method(s) you selected (cell phone, email, landline, etc.). Emergency notifications are issued based on geographic location. You can update your preferences at any time, and all information provided is kept confidential. More than 248,000 people have signed up for the system.
We are in for some much welcome rain this weekend, but don’t let that keep you inside. This weekend’s events include the closing day of the Major League Soccer preseason as well as the last weekend of the rodeo. I hope you have a chance for a great weekend with your family.