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April 27, 2014 at 9:22am

Tacoma run honors former JBLM soldier Pat Tillman

Yellow shirts bearing the number 42 ??" Tillman’s football jersey number at Arizona State University ??" bore tribute to Tillman’s influence. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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Homage.

It is a Middle English word that sums up yesterday's run honoring Pat Tillman.

A noun, homage means a special honor or respect shown publically.

The signature fundraising event of the Pat Tillman Foundation, the run - Pat's Run - is traditionally held in April at Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.

A standout scholar and football player at Arizona State University, Tillman played professionally for the Phoenix Cardinals.

After the attacks of 9/11, Tillman remarked to a reporter, "At times like this you stop and think about just how good we have it, what kind of system we live in, and the freedoms we are allowed.  A lot of my family has gone and fought in wars, and I really haven't done a damn thing."

Placing his NFL career on hold, Tillman enlisted in the Army.  He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

On April 22, 2004 Tillman died in Afghanistan due to fratricide.

>>> A participant in Pat's Run, named in honor of Pat Tillman, crosses the finish line at Thea Park.

His friends and family started the Pat Tillman Foundation to carry forward Tillman's legacy of serving to the fullest by providing military veterans and spouses who embody the principle of service the educational tools and means to reach their potential.

"There was nothing negative about him," commented Tyler Renner, an Air Force reservist. "He was living for others, not for himself, and that is what we honor."

Through a partnership with the ASU Alumni Association, a number of "shadow runs" are held in cities across the country.

This year marked the run's 10th anniversary, and more than 30,000 runners participated nationwide.

The runs are casual, fun runs held in parks.

>>> The Tacoma version of Pat's Run began in Thea's Park at 9 a.m. April 26. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Approximately 80 runners and walkers showed up at Tacoma's Thea's Park early Saturday morning to raise money for the foundation which funds the Tillman Military Scholars program.

"It's great to be here, to give back," said 1st Lt. Jason Wagner, 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment, before the start of the 4.2-mile run. "I am one of the scholars who received money from the program to help pay for law school."

According to a statement issued by race promoters, more than 230 Tillman Military Scholars from 34 states have received $3.2 million.

"It is a privilege to publically pay homage to him," said Renner before beginning the run. "His is a cause worth preserving."

>>> Spc. Brandon Judd, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, picks up a flower honoring the Boston Marathon after finishing Pat's Run in Thea Park.Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

>>> TRVLSQD members pack up their gear before shouldering rucksacks and a 150-pound log in memory of a friend's father and in support of the Tillman Military Scholars program.Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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