- 31 years old
- Date of birth: Aug 23, 1979
- Date of passing: Aug 6, 2011
|Let the memory of MCPO Brian be with us forever|
31, of Stamford, Conn.; assigned to an East Coast-based SEAL team; died Aug. 6 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the CH-47 Chinook helicopter in which he was riding was shot down.
Fallen SEAL remembered as athletic, driven
Staff and wire reports
From his days as a student athlete at a Stamford, Conn., high school, Brian Bill was clear on his career goal: He wanted to join the SEALs.
Bill was remembered by friends and teachers as a dedicated young man who wanted to be the best at anything he pursued.
“He set his standards high. He was that kind of person,” said Kimberly Hess, a friend who graduated from Norwich University in Vermont with Bill in 2001. “He was remarkably gifted and very thoughtful. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for you no matter the time or day.”
Bill’s family said he wanted to return to graduate school after completing his military service and hoped to become an astronaut. He was also a mountaineer, a skier, a pilot and triathlete.
“We are heartbroken in our loss,” his family said in a statement. “Brian was a remarkably gifted, thoughtful, and compassionate young man. We are incredibly proud of him. He was a treasured son, grandson, brother, uncle and cousin. He loved life; he loved a challenge; and he was passionate about being a SEAL.”
“We thank all the SEALS who gave their lives this week and share our sorrow with the families of those dedicated men who fought for our safety and freedom,” Bill’s mother and stepfather, Patricia and Michael Parry, and his father, Scott Bill, said in the statement.
Bill had been decorated many times for valor on deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
“His death is tragic and it’s really fitting that he was going to help others,” Hess said.
Diane Warzoha, who had Bill as a student in a language class at Trinity Catholic High School in Stamford, said he was in many ways a typical high school student who played hockey and soccer, but it was no surprise that he fulfilled his goal of joining the SEALs.
“Brian just wanted to do his best, to protect other people. Brian wanted to be the best at whatever he did. Challenge did not deter him ever,” said Warzoha, an assistant principal at the school.
“We’re deeply, deeply saddened. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family. It’s just so sad,” she said.
Bill enlisted in July 2001. He graduated from Naval Aviation Technical TrainingCommand in Pensacola, Fla., in November 2001 and Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training in Coronado, Calif., in November 2002. He joined his East Coast-based SEAL team in June 2003.
Bill’s decorations include the Bronze Star with combat ‘V’ device for valor; Joint Service Commendation Medal with combat ‘V’ device for valor; Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal; Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal; Combat Action Ribbon; Presidential Unit Citation; Navy Unit Citation; Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Rifle Expert Medal and Pistol Expert Medal.
"long may he rest away from his lifes work and all that he did for the people, and that he did so we may peacefully sit in our airplane seats and not worry about the people who sit in front of us."
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