Patrick D. Tillman, 27
Tillman walked away from a three-year, $3.6-million contract offer from the Arizona Cardinals to become a Ranger in 2002, along with his brother Kevin, a minor league baseball player. Although the Army knew almost immediately that he had been killed in a "friendly-fire" incident in Afghanistan, it took them more than a month to inform his family. Tillman's father later called the investigation a lie and "insulting to Pat." His mother said they were determined to learn the truth. "The military thinks we'll just accept their story," she said. "They obviously don't know this family." When he enlisted, Tillman was living in Arizona, where he went to college and played professional ball, but he was raised in San Jose.
Sources: Times research, Defense Department, iCasualties.org