Hi there! I’m Alicia Haygood, your host for the Scottsdale Vibes Podcast, and today we have a very special guest, Dan Futrell, who is the CEO of the Pat Tillman Foundation. Pat Tillman is a well-known name across Arizona and the country, and his legacy continues to inspire and impact the lives of many. We’re going to dive into Dan’s journey, the mission of the Pat Tillman Foundation, and what it means to be a recipient of one of their prestigious scholarships.
Dan’s story is one of resilience and determination. Growing up in foster care in California, he faced many challenges, but found solace in nature and adventure. This passion led him to join the military, where he served for five years and earned several accolades, including the Combat Infantry Men’s Badge, the Ranger tab, and two Bronze Star medals. In 2011, he became a Tillman Scholar, and in 2019, he took on the role of CEO.
How it Started
The Pat Tillman Foundation was founded in 2004, just a month after Pat’s tragic death, to honor his legacy and support veterans and military spouses pursuing higher education. Their mission is to empower military veterans and their spouses to become leaders in their fields and communities through education, mentorship, and community-building. To date, the foundation has provided scholarships to over 800 Tillman Scholars who are making a difference in their communities and beyond.
As CEO, Dan is deeply honored to be part of the organization and to continue Pat’s legacy. He expresses his gratitude for the opportunity to meet people who knew Pat and to be part of an event that commemorates Pat’s life and accomplishments. He acknowledges the immense strength and resilience of Marie Tillman in starting the foundation just a month after her husband’s death and carrying on his legacy in a meaningful way. Dan is committed to upholding the foundation’s mission and making a positive impact on the lives of veterans and military spouses.
The Foundation’s Impact
The foundation’s impact on the lives of veterans and military spouses has been profound. Through scholarships, mentorship, and community-building, the foundation empowers these individuals to pursue their academic and professional goals. Many Tillman Scholars have gone on to make significant contributions in various fields, embodying the values of service, leadership, and integrity that Pat Tillman stood for. The foundation’s programs not only provide financial support but also create a strong support system for Tillman Scholars, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie.
Pat’s Run is an annual event that has become synonymous with honoring Pat Tillman’s legacy. The race, which is 4.2 miles long and ends on the 42nd yard line of the Sun Devil Stadium, a symbolic reference to Tillman’s jersey number, 42, is not only a tribute to Tillman’s memory but also a celebration of his enduring legacy. Dan shared how Pat’s Run has become a beloved tradition for thousands of participants who come together to remember and honor Pat Tillman’s life and sacrifice. The event has grown exponentially over the years, with tens of thousands of people joining from all over the world to participate in the race and support the foundation’s mission.
Dan Futrell’s journey, along with the mission and impact of the Pat Tillman Foundation, is a testament to the resilience and strength of the human spirit. The Foundation’s impact will continue to ripple through generations, as the legacy of Pat Tillman lives on through the countless lives it has touched. I am so honored to have had the chance to speak with Dan. Thanks for joining me Scottsdale, until next time!