One of the 30 American troops killed in the Chinook helicopter crash in Afghanistan over the weekend was a Navy Seal from Stamford.
Brian Bill graduated from Trinity Catholic High School, in Stamford, in 1997, where he was on the soccer team and played varsity hockey.
His parents still live in the city. Bill's father, Scott Bill; and his mother and step-father, Pat and Michael Parry, said their son loved life and a challenge and was passionate about being a SEAL.
"We are heartbroken in our loss. Brian was remarkably gifted, thoughtful, and compassionate young man. We are incredibly proud of him. He was a treasured son, grandson, brother, uncle and cousin," his family said in a written statement released on Monday. "He loved and respected his Seal teammates. He was a consummate professional and demanded perfection of himself," they said. "We mourn his life of unfulfilled dreams."
Brian was an accomplished mountaineer, skier, pilot and triathlete and wanted to return to graduate school and become an astronaut, they said.
Diane Warzoha, assistant principal of Trinity Catholic, taught Brian's Spanish class.
"Brian was a very special student here, as all of our students are. Brian was always committed. He had a goal, and that goal was to serve his country, and to do his job. And he took all of that seriously and worked very hard to be the best that he could be," she said.
She said the school community is heartbroken about the news and plans to do something to honor his memory.
"Brian cared about people. Brian was always able to read a situation and respond to a situation. He was a young man who had an amazing amount of potential, and we knew he was going to go to very good places," Warzoha said.
Bill grew up in Gov. Dannel Malloy's hometown.
My wife, Cathy, and I extend our condolences to his family, and our thoughts and prayers go out to them at this difficult time," Malloy said.
The fatal crash, officials said, represents the highest number of U.S. forces killed during a single event in support of what the U.S. Department of Defense calls Operation Enduring Freedom.
Brian went on to Norwich University, a military college, from 1997 to 2001. A classmates.com listing said he went to Coronado Naval Amphibious Base, from 2001 to 2003 and Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base.