<<<Is he a hero because he turned down big money- temporarily he thought, or because he was willing to defend the country? Is his death more of a loss than any other? ALL who die give up everything.>>>
Anyone that's willing to strap-it-on for country, and die doing so ... is my HERO. I HAVE A SPECIAL RESPECT FOR SOMEONE IN THE PRIME OF HIS LIFE, MAKING MILLIONS ... to give it all up. By no means does that discount all the others that are dying in service.
One other point, when Pat Joined the Rangers, he was basically saying goodbye to big money FOREVER. Anyone that knows anything about the NFL knows that you can't retire for 3 years only to come back and make millions.