ORU Grad Who May Have Shot Pat Tillman Tells Story In Tulsa
TULSA, Oklahoma - Many know the story of Pat Tillman, the NFL player who enlisted in the Army to fight America's war on terror and killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan 11 years ago.
Veteran Army Ranger Steven Elliott at Redeemer Covenant Church in south Tulsa Sunday speaking about the evening in Afghanistan that changed his life and a comrade's.
His platoon was fighting to get out of an enemy ambush when Elliott says they saw muzzle flashes coming from a nearby mountain ridge.
Following the lead of his commander, he and several others in his squad fired on the position. The flashes turned out to be those of their own men. The one killed by so-called friendly fire was Army Ranger Pat Tillman.
"Regardless of how the ballistics shakeout, we all fired in that general area, so we all feel a sense of responsibility," said Steven Elliott, a former Army Ranger.
Elliott said he didn't talk outside of his immediate family about what happened until he was approached by a network producing a 10-year anniversary segment on Tillman's death. The Oral Roberts University graduate has since turned his story into a spiritual message about redemption and seeking forgiveness.
"The details of my story is just a springboard to talk about that is far more exciting and far more important, and that's Jesus - that's the gospel," he said.
Elliott also hopes his story will help other veterans going through post-traumatic stress, or what he called the "wounds of war."
"If you're trying to do it alone - stop. If you think you have it together, you probably don't and that's OK,'" he said.
"To know there's hope, things can change - that will probably happen in the context of a community. That's not going to happen sitting on your couch trying to think your way out of what you're feeling and what you're going through."
In the past year, Elliott has started to share his story with the public. He currently lives in Olympia, Washington where he's a financial planner.