Retired General Stanley McChrystal will be returning to the White House to join a new initiative led by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden to support and honor military families. The program, called Joining Forces, “‘aims to educate, challenge, and spark action from all sectors of society’ to address the unique challenges [of] American troops, veterans and their families.”
But Mary Tillman, mother of former-NFL star Pat Tillman, is rallying against the White House’s decision. In an interview with ABC News, Mrs. Tillman made the case against McChrystal’s newest appointment, arguing, “Someone who has a heartfelt desire to help families would not have been involved in the cover-up of a soldier’s death, especially one that they used to promote a war.” To watch the interview with Mrs. Tillman, click here.
This isn’t the first time Mrs. Tillman has spoken out against McChrystal. In 2004, her son, Corporal Pat Tillman, was killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire. When Mrs. Tillman launched an investigation into her son’s death, she discovered that a chain of officers leading all the way to General Stanley McChrystal had covered up the facts surrounding Corporal Tillman’s final days, claiming he had been killed in combat by enemy forces. The Pentagon’s inspector general recommended that McChrystal be held “accountable for the inaccurate and misleading assertions.”
Instead, in 2009, he was promoted to commander of all US and ISAF forces in Afghanistan, prompting Mrs. Tillman to write an appeal to President Obama and the US Senate to follow the inspector general’s recommendations. But the plea of a heroic soldier’s mother felt on deaf ears. In the same ABC News exclusive, the director of a documentary detailing Pat Tillman’s last days and McChrystal’s subsequent cover-up, “The Tillman Story,” summed up the White House’s offer to the former general: “Putting Stanley McChrystal in charge of a commission on military families is a little like putting Bernie Madoff in charge of a commission on pensions.”