Update 5:19 p.m.:
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Wednesday afternoon ordered flags at half staff to honor Brian Bill, a U.S. Navy Seal killed this weekend in Afghanistan.
Flags will remain at half staff until Bill's burial, which will take place at Arlington National Cemetery, according to the Leo P. Gallagher & Sons Funeral Home of Stamford.
"Chief Petty Officer Bill’s family and friends are in our prayers as we grieve the loss of a true Connecticut hero," Malloy said in a news release. "The City of Stamford and the State of Connecticut will always remember the sacrifice that Chief Petty Officer Bill and the other courageous men and women in uniform have made in defense of our nation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the troops who continue to serve overseas—we hope for their safe and speedy return home."
Bill, 31, a Stamford native, served with the Navy’s East Coast SEAL team, headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA. He was one of 30 members of the U.S. Armed Forces and staff killed when a rocket-propelled grenade struck their helicopter in Afghanistan's Wardak Province.
Update 10:22 a.m.:
Navy SEAL Brian Bill's Chinook helicopter was shot down an insurgent's rocket-propelled grenade, but according to the Associated Press, the military is launching an investigation into why the helicopter was required for its final, disastrous rescue operation.
Bill, 31, was in Kabul, Afghanistan on Aug. 6 when his Chinook helicopter was shot down, reportedly killing 37 American troops and commandos.
Aug. 6 was considered to be the deadliest day so far in the decade-long operation in Afghanistan.
The investigation into the incident is a discreet one, as the Pentagon has been described as “reluctant” to release the identities of the twenty-two SEALs killed in action.
Update 3:43 p.m., Monday:
Staff at Norwich University, one of the country's top military academies, speak on glowing terms of Navy SEAL, all-around athlete, and Stamford native in a report issued by the Burlington Free Press.
Classmates of Bill remember him as being a quiet, humble and unique young man, and that it was "very fitting" that he died doing what he loved.
Chief Petty Officer Brian Robert Bill, 31 of Virginia Beach, Virginia was killed in action on August 6th, 2011 in Afghanistan.
Born August 23, 1979 in Stamford, Connecticut. He was the son of Dr. Michael and Patricia Parry of Stamford, CT, and Scott Bill of Sarasota, Florida.
Chief Special Warfare Operator Bill was an Eagle Scout, graduated from Trinity Catholic High School, Stamford and Norwich University, Norwich, VT with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.
In June, 2001 he enlisted in the United States Navy to pursue his life-long dream of becoming a U.S. Navy SEAL. After Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois he attended Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in Coronado, CA. In 2003 he was designated as a SEAL and assigned to an east coast SEAL Team based in Virginia Beach, VA.
Brian was a skilled fly-fisherman, skier and skydiver. He was an accomplished mountaineer with successful summits of Aconcagua in Argentina and Mount Elbrus in Russia. He had completed several marathons and obtained his commercial pilot’s license. He independently studied Russian and became fluent in French.
In addition to his parents he is survived by his grandmother Betty Hardiman, brother Christian Bill, sister Amy Kutney, her husband Chad and daughter Ryder, sister Andrea Sholes, her husband Christopher and daughter Kyra, sister Kerry Welch, sister Tessa Bill, brother Morgan Bill, Aunt Anne Goebel and her husband James, Aunt Sharon Davis, Uncle Thomas Davis and wife Joanne; Aunt Maureen Corcoran; Aunt Mary Sikes and her husband John; Uncle Jeffrey Davis, 12 cousins; Jay Goebel, Kate Noell and her husband Hunter, Martha Goebel, Molly Goebel, Gregory Davis, Julia Davis, Sophia Davis, Johnny Sikes, Bennett Sikes, Kitt Sikes, Stephen & Sue Parry, Great Uncle Monsignor William Nagle, Great Uncle Dr. & Mrs. John Nagle, their children, John, Jeffrey, Brian, Kathleen, Kerry and their families.
A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Saint Cecilia Church, 1184 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT; funeral arrangements to be announced. Leo P. Gallagher & Sons Funeral Home will handle the arrangements. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA
Donations may be made to Navy SEAL Foundation at nswfoundation.org.
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