During a recent appearance on WSCR-AM 670, Charles Tillman discussed his appreciation for the military, what he’s seeking in a second career after football and the Bears’ 0-3 record in Chicago.
Having grown up the son of an Army sergeant, Tillman is an avid supporter of the military. The Chicago Bears cornerback has participated in a USO tour to Iraq, volunteered with the USO of Illinois on Thanksgiving to serve meals to local troops, and provided soldiers with Bears tickets.
In 2012, Tillman won the NFL’s Salute to Service Award, which recognizes those who honor and support members of the military community. The award was presented by USAA, the NFL’s official military appreciation sponsor, which contributed $25,000 in Tillman’s name to aid societies representing all five military branches.
“Those guys pay a price,” Tillman said on the Miller Lite Top Draft Show. “Liberty’s not free. Freedom’s not free. I think they do something very honorable and I really want to go out there and shake their hands and let them know that I really do appreciate what they’re doing.
“And trust me, I think just a simple, ‘Hey man, I really appreciate you,’ it goes a long way. That’s all they really want to hear. If you see somebody in uniform or you know that they’re in the military just say, ‘Hey, I appreciate your time and your service, thank you.’”
Tillman also spoke about life after football, saying he definitely doesn’t want to be a coach or stay-at-home dad when his playing days are over. The 33-year-old, who has played for the Bears since 2003, is out for the season after tearing his right triceps muscle for the second straight year.
“I’ve been around locker rooms my whole life, so whatever job I have after football, it has to be team-oriented and I have to have a good locker room,” Tillman said. “I have to be able to say crazy things and do crazy stuff like we do in our locker room. I need a job where I can do that.”
Tillman recently spent the Bears’ bye week serving as “Mr. Mom,” shuttling his four children to dance lessons, gymnastics, horseback riding and soccer practice.
“Mr. Mom is cool to a certain extent, but all stay-at-home moms out there, your job is hard,” Tillman said. “I can’t do it. I’m not a homebody. I’ve got to get out and do something, When I retire either I’m going to get into radio or be a librarian or plumber or something. I cannot be at home.”
Tillman also lamented the Bears’ disappointing first half of the season. Asked to identify his greatest frustration, the two-time Pro Bowler said: “Losing home games. You’re not supposed to lose games at home. If anything you’re supposed to win all of your home games and lose a couple of away games, But this year being 0-3 [at home], it’s hard, it’s frustrating and it’s disappointing.”
The Bears have lost at home this season to the Bills, Packers and Dolphins. They’ll attempt to win their first game in Chicago Sunday when they host the Vikings.
“We’re inconsistent,” Tillman said. “I think we can definitely play better. Small mistakes, I think that’s probably been one of the biggest problems. From what I’ve seen just from watching the film, it’s just simple mistakes. But they’re all correctable, and that’s the good thing. That’s why I’m optimistic that it can turn around, because the mistakes that have been made are correctable.”