Tillman was upset about it and voiced his disapproval, Krakauer said. "He thought it was a mistake," he said. "He thought it was going to be a disaster. And, in the Army, you're not supposed to talk about that. You're not supposed to talk politics, and Pat didn't shut up. He told everyone this was illegal as hell."
Still, Tillman got along great with the other soldiers, Krakauer said. "They respected him because, even though he didn't like the Iraq War, he signed up," Krakauer said. "He was going to fulfill his obligation."
Tillman and his younger brother, Kevin, enlisted together. In Afghanistan, they fought side by side on the battlefield and were electric when they got together on the sports field.
"They were the closest set of brothers that I've ever seen," former Ranger Boatright said.
The Tillman brothers questioned the war in Iraq. But they never questioned how they would perform on the battlefield.
Tillman shared his feelings in a journal entry dated March 13, 2003. "If Kevin and I are part of a situation where we must fight, every bit of my soul knows we will fight as hard as anyone ever has," he wrote. "We will not question the reasons for our being here or allow any personal beliefs to interfere with our job. My hope is that decisions are being made with the same good faith that Kevin and I aim to display. ... I hope [this war is about] more than oil, money & power. ... I doubt that it is."
"The more time Pat spent in Iraq, the more and more he realized this whole thing was terrible," Krakauer said.
Tillman caught the eye of many in Washington, D.C. He was the most famous soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan and the Pentagon knew it.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sent Tillman a handwritten note commending him on his decision.
"According to Rumsfeld's senior military assistant at the time, Lt. Gen. Bantz Craddock, this was the only time he could remember Rumsfeld ever writing a personal note commending the enlistment of an individual soldier," Krakauer wrote in his book footnotes.
"He was watching Tillman's every move; when Pat Tillman coughed, they knew it," Krakauer said of Rumsfeld, claiming he was trying to turn Tillman into the military poster boy.
But Tillman shunned the limelight, refusing to do any interviews after he joined the army.
"He didn't want any special treatment," former Ranger Jones said. "He was content being just like everybody else. He didn't want to be glorified or put up on a pedestal. He just wanted to do what he believed in."
Krakauer said, "He was really smart about politics, and he knew that there was a really good chance that if he died, the administration would try to capitalize on it for their benefit and he didn't want that to happen."
In a strange twist of fate, Tillman's first mission in Iraq turned out to be a high-profile rescue. Tillman, along with brother Kevin, was part of the rescue for Jessica Lynch, the Army private who had been injured and captured by Iraqi forces. Tillman was initially skeptical of the operation.
"As the Army was sending, you know, 1,000 troops, they were organizing an incredible number of people to rescue, Pat looked around and said, wait a minute, something is fishy here," Krakauer said.