NFL loses another player to the U.S. Military
NFL Player Joins Pat Tillman into U.S. Military
National Football League (NFL) loses another player to the U.S. Military
Jeremy Staat, former NFL Player and college teammate and fellow NFL player Pat Tillman is following the trail blazed by the fallen hero into the U.S. Military. Staat is leaving a career in professional football to join the military.
Pfc. Jeremy Staat was a defensive lineman who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the St. Louis Rams. Pfc. Staat graduated on Friday from the San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot.
“Enlisting is probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life” Staat has said to friends.
Pat Tillman, who played the NFL Arizona Cardinals, was killed by friendly fire near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in April 2004. The Defense Department is investigating allegations of a cover-up. Some say the the Army’s failure to tell Tillman’s family for several weeks that he had been killed by gunfire from his fellow Army Rangers is causing ripples throughout the halls of the Pentagon…….
Staat said he was felt compelled to join the military after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks but Tillman, who was his roommate at Arizona State, advised him to stay with professional football until he qualified for retirement benefits.
“Tillman told me, ‘You’re a good player, you need to get good play” Staat said. Then four months later, at his wedding, Staat learned that Tillman was going to the Army. “I joked to him. Hey, you stole my idea”.
Tillman’s death gave Staat more motivation to enlist. Saat said. “I should have been there for him.”
Staat played for the Steelers from 1998 to 2000, and played two games with the Rams in 2003. He was playing for the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League before being put on the league’s suspended list.
“I never felt right about making the money I was making” he said. “We get paid millions of dollars to play professional sports yet we pay military service people pennies to a dollar and they’re the ones risking their lives” Staat said.
To enlist, the 6-foot-5 player said he dropped from 310 to 260 pounds. He said three months of boot camp training gave him a deeper appreciation for team camaraderie.
“It’s about looking out for your fellow soldier, and being ready to take a bullet for someone” he said. “I’m ready.”
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