Pat Tillman's legacy continues to grow

June, 9, 2010
6/09/10
5:10
PM ET
Seriously injured servicemen and servicewomen are returning home alive more frequently thanks to medical advances.

Their spouses sometimes become caretakers and primary earners.

An assist with education can improve their earning power, something the Pat Tillman Foundation recognizes and one reason I wanted to call attention to a significant story. Getting the NFL onboard in more substantial ways is significant for the foundation named after Tillman, the former Arizona Cardinals safety killed six years ago while serving in Afghanistan.

The NFL has gone from being a supporter to more of a partner with its commitment to help fund new scholarships and to honor one winner as a standard bearer each year (seven Washington Redskins players joined 37 Tillman Military Scholars in visiting Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Wednesday). Tillman's legacy should grow as a result.

"The G.I. Bill is great and we love it, but there are a lot of gaps it doesn't cover," Kadi Tierney of the Pat Tillman Foundation said when I reached her Wednesday. "Unless you have served 10 years, you cannot transfer G.I. Bill credits to your spouse. If you served seven years and six tours in Afghanistan, you cannot transfer those credits to your spouse."

Tillman scholarships help fill the gaps for some of the 112 current recipients, about half of whom are spouses.

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