Inaugural Pat Tillman Award To Go To Purple Heart Recipient

By Al Macias
Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 3:59pm
(Image courtesy of Pat Tillman Foundation)
Pat Tillman

A new award has been created in memory of former Arizona Cardinal player Pat Tillman. ESPN said the annual award will honor an individual with a strong connection to sports who has served others in a way that echoes the legacy of Tillman.

The first recipient of the Pat Tillman Award for Service will be Josh Sweeney from Phoenix. Sweeney is a Purple Heart recipient and a member of the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team. Sweeney lost both legs after being injured by an improvised explosive device while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan.

Pat Tillman was a football star at Arizona State University before playing in the NFL. He placed his career on hold to enlist in the U.S. Army with his brother following the  Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Tillman was killed by friendly fire in 2004 while serving in Afghanistan.

The Tillman award will be presented to Sweeney during an ESPN broadcast on July 16th.