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3:39 AM Mon, Dec. 10th

Tillman family grieves in silence

PHOENIX (AP) – Pat Tillman's grieving family has maintained its public silence and indicated it will to do so for some time.

Tillman, the 27-year-old former football star who gave up his pro career to join the Army Rangers, was killed in combat Thursday in Afghanistan.

In Tillman's hometown of San Jose, Calif., his father spoke to a reporter, although it was only to politely say the family would remain silent.

"We're not really going to talk right now," Patrick Tillman, a Bay area attorney, told The Arizona Republic.

"I hope you understand."

Asked if the family planned to issue a statement soon, Tillman responded, "No, we won't be saying anything for quite a while."

Meanwhile, funeral arrangements were pending for the former Arizona State University and Arizona Cardinals defensive star.

Military officials have arranged for the fallen soldier's final journey home.

Tillman's body will be sent directly to a military mortuary at Dover, bypassing the U.S.

military's medical facilities in Germany.

Tillman's body was expected to be sent over the weekend to Dover Air Force Base, Del., Lawrence said.


Kevin Tillman, like his brother a Ranger with the 2nd Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment, will accompany the body home, Lawrence said.

ASU and the Arizona Cardinals announced on Saturday the establishment of an annual business school scholarship in Tillman's name.

ASU athletic director Gene Smith also said the Sun Devils will retire Tillman's No.

42 jersey after the 2004 football season has concluded.

The Cardinals said they will retire Tillman's No.

40 and plan to name the plaza surrounding their new stadium under construction in suburban Glendale the "Pat Tillman Freedom Plaza."

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