Wartime brings bad news close to home. Over the weekend, a US Chinook Helicopter was shot down, killing all 38 soldiers aboard. One of the Navy SEALs onboard was a Norwich University alumn:
STAMFORD — Brian Bill, a Stamford native who played hockey and soccer at Trinity Catholic in the late 1990s, was killed this weekend when the U.S. helicopter he was traveling in was shot down near Kabul, Afghanistan.
Bill, a Navy SEAL, graduated from Trinity in 1997 and was an athlete and an Eagle scout.
Bill’s mother and stepfather, Patricia and Michael Parry, and his father, Scott Bill, issued a written statement to The Advocate thanking the SEALs and members of the Stamford community for their support.
“We are heartbroken in our loss,” they said. “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.”
Bill, his family said, was interested in attending graduate school and becoming an astronaut upon completing his military service.
“Already an accomplished mountaineer, skier, pilot, and triathlete, he wanted to complete the seven summits,” they said. “He wanted to return to graduate school. He wanted to become an astronaut. He was the best, and we will miss him.”
Trinity Catholic boys soccer coach Bob Pepi said it was apparent early on that Bill was well suited for public service.
“The thing I remember most about him is that he was a serious kid who had a maturity about him,” Pepi said. “His mind was preparing him for something else. He was a little bit reserved and a little bit different, but not in a bad way. It doesn’t surprise me that he chose the path that he did.”
Patrick Sasser, a Stamford firefighter who grew up with Bill, said he found out about Bill’s death Sunday night, when he got a phone call from a friend in the Air Force.
“Brian was just a great guy,” Sasser said. “He loved the outdoors and camping. He was a great all-around guy. In high school, he wanted to be in the military. Especially, he wanted to be a SEAL.”
Bill was 2001 graduate of Norwich University in Vermont and a graduate of Coronado Naval Amphibious Base in San Diego and the Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base in Virginia Beach, Va. Both bases are Navy SEAL training centers.
Thirty Americans and eight Afghans — seven commandos and a civilian translator — were killed in the crash, making it the deadliest single loss for U.S. forces in the decade-long war in Afghanistan.
- Chess Club, 7PM, Faith United Methodist Church, South Burlington. $2-3. (Chess)
- Compost Community Night, 5:30–7:30PM, Integrated Arts Academy, H.O. Wheeler Elementary School, Burlington. Free. (Compost)
- Indoor Garden Workshop, 6–7PM, Hunger Mountain Co-op, Montpelier. $10-12. Preregister. (Gardening)
- ‘Momo no Kawa: Peach River’, 6–7:30PM, The Schoolhouse, South Burlington. Free. (Kids)
- Open Computer Time, 3–4:30PM, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington. Free. (Teens)
- ‘Raptors Up Close’, 2PM, Vermont Institute of Natural Science, Quechee. Regular admission, $8.50-10.50; free for kids 2 and under. (Kids)
- ‘Signs in the Snow’, 11AM, Vermont Institute of Natural Science, Quechee. Regular admission, $8.50-10.50; free for kids 2 and under. (Kids)
- ‘Who’s Hooting?’, 10–11AM, Green Mountain Audubon Center, Huntington. $8-10 per adult/child pair; $4 per additional child. (Kids, Owls)
- Anne Miller, How and why to grow your own vegetable seeds, 6PM, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier. Free. (Gardening)
- David Govatski – “Flight of the Bohemians: Winter Bird Visitors From the Far North.” 7PM, Brownell Library, Essex Junction. Free. (Birds)
- Norman Williams Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Planning and the Law – “The Most Important Number in the World”? , 5:30–7PM, Chase Community Center, Vermont Law School, South Royalton. Free. (Environmentalism)
- Todd Lecture Series – “Sustainability: A National Security Issue.”, 12–1PM, Dole Auditorium, Norwich University, Northfield. Free. (Military)
- Open Miniatures Tables!, 5pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games Gamespace, Burlington. (Gaming)
Monshire Museum, Norwich:
- 11:30 a.m. Magnets You will discover cool ways to experiment with and use magnets.
- 3:00 p.m. Who Sank the Boat? Can your boat withstand the challenge? You will build a boat and see if it can survive the journey.
- Religion, Race, Ethnicity, & Environment, 4:30 – 6pm, Franklin Environmental Center 103, Middlebury College, Middlebury. (Talk)
- SOAN Lecture by: Tom Streeter – The Net Effect: Romanticism, Capitalism, and the Internet, 4:30 – 5:45pm, McCardell Bicentennial Hall 220, Middlebury College, Middlebury. (Talk)
- Bone Marrow Donor Drive. 12-6PM, Plumley Armory, Norwich University, Northfield. http://www.incharliescorner.org (Bone Marrow)
The American and POW Flags flying in front of the State House in Montpelier, Vermont. More than 1500 Vermonters are serving in Afghanistan at the present moment, with three killed in the past year: Ryan Grady, Tristan Southworth and Steven Deluzio, with dozens wounded. The first group of Vermont soldiers will be returning home soon.