This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, April 23, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Tonight: an American hero who gave the ultimate sacrifice. A star NFL player who walked away from millions to serve his country has been killed in the line of duty. For more on 27-year-old Pat Tillman (search ), let's go to Fox's Adam Housley in Tempe, Arizona, where Tillman once played for the Arizona Cardinals -- Adam.
ADAM HOUSLEY, FOX CORRESPONDENT: Greta, that's right. Pat Tillman is actually being remembered about the time right now as we speak by the Arizona Diamondbacks (search ) baseball team. They're having a small ceremony before their game. We'll have more for you on that ceremony at the bottom of the hour.
In the meantime, we're told by some of Pat Tillman's friends that he was home just after the holidays, had a chance to see many of them, and that he was due home here in a couple of days. That's what they tell us. As we learn that information, I'm going to step away, Greta. You can see a growing memorial here in front of Sun Devil Stadium (search ) in Tempe, obviously dedicated to Pat Tillman's memory. There have been soldiers that come by here, former players, people that never knew him. Of course, you see all sorts of balloons and flowers and notes. In fact, one note in that memorial says, "Pat Tillman, an American hero, you represent what's good in America."
Now, as you look at some video from special ops, of course, Pat part of the 75th Ranger unit -- for many people, he now puts a face and a story on thousands of American servicemen and women fighting in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Sadly, he also represents one of the hundreds killed in this war on terror.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICH WEENER, ASU STRENGTH COACH: It does give you a face and a personality, you know, people that have followed the football program from the ASU community and just the Phoenix community here.
PETE KENDALL, CARDINALS TEAMMATE: A lot of times in football, the analogies of war are kind of thrown around freely, and on a day like today, you kind of see how hollow those ring.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOUSLEY: Pat Tillman's spirit captured many in the Southwest even before this tragic end, from refusing the red shirt as a freshman to football standout at ASU, from long shot in the NFL to defensive superstar, and then to walk away from it all, seeking no applause, seeking no fanfare. Tillman joined his brother enlisting in 2002. He told friends he needed to give something back and that he was deeply affected by the attacks on September 11.
Pat Tillman, a member of the elite, again, 75th Ranger unit is survived by his brother, Kevin, his wife, Marie (ph), and of course, his parents and thousands of friends and family here in the Southwest.
Greta, also, the athletic department here was unsure of how to memorialize him, at this point. What they have done, they have decided to allow one player to wear number 42, his number here at Arizona State. Before every game, that player will run out carrying the American flag. Then at the end of the season, that number will be retired. That name, Pat Tillman, will be put up here inside Sun Devil Stadium. Also, they're putting together a scholarship for an academics -- for the business school, which he graduated from with a 3.8 grade point average in three-and-a-half years -- Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Adam, thank you. We're going to check back in with you later. We'll also be joined by one of Pat's former teammates.
But first, reaction from Arizona U.S. Senator John McCain. And I asked him what one can say to the families after a death this tragic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: You say to the families, We grieve with you. We mourn their loss. We are so proud of these young Americans who are performing so magnificently. They are writing chapters in our history. And I know there's no way to comfort, but some day, I hope that they will take some comfort in the knowledge that these young people sacrificed in the cause of freedom. And they are protecting us, and there is nothing nobler.
VAN SUSTEREN: And this story is so extraordinary. I mean, he walked away from a phenomenal career, a million-dollar contract, to serve in our military.
MCCAIN: Greta, I am heart-broken because Pat Tillman epitomized everything that's good and decent and wonderful, and none of those things did he attribute to himself. You know, he would never have a press conference or do an interview because he felt he wasn't doing anything that any ordinary American wouldn't do serving his country. After 9/11, he and his brother joined. They turned down a chance to go to Officer Candidate School. He'd already served a year in Iraq. And we here in Arizona are just heart-broken over his loss. And it's hard to describe how deeply he moved the citizens of this state.
VAN SUSTEREN: And imagine his brother -- he's serving with his brother. What -- what -- does his brother come home now, or is it an option for his brother?
MCCAIN: It's an option for his brother to come home. Yes, it is. And he was in Afghanistan fighting Al Qaeda (search), the Taliban (search ), those that inflicted 9/11 on us. There's no doubt that he was fighting for freedom. He'd already served a year in Iraq. And by the way, he always was underestimated. In football at Arizona State University, he was underweight and they never thought he'd be a superstar. They never thought he'd make it with the pros. And after achieving that incredible success, he gave it all up and -- I mean, by the way, I thought of my childhood hero, Ted Williams, who fought in World War II and then went back and flew in the Korean war, as well. But those are -- those are the kinds of role models that young Americans have.
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, it raises always the question every time we go through the sadness of a loss, do we have enough troops in Afghanistan to track down al Qaeda and Usama bin Laden?
MCCAIN: I don't think so. But I think that we are achieving some successes in Afghanistan. Gradually, the Karzai government is extending its control outside of Kabul. We do have some successes there. I'm not as apprehensive -- although I'm somewhat apprehensive about Afghanistan -- as I am right now about Iraq. In Iraq, we did not have enough troops. It's tragic that we had to extend these young people by three months after they'd planned on going home. They'll do fine, but we should never put ourselves in planning in that way. We should have more troops permanently there for a long period of time. And I am disappointed at the continued resistance of the acknowledgement of that reality on the part of Pentagon.
VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, tonight we all mourn across this country for an Arizona hero. Very sad story. And every single one of those stories are very sad, Senator.
MCCAIN: Thank you, and God bless him and his family and all Americans who serve.
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, Senator, very much for joining us.
MCCAIN: Thank you, Greta.
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