The U.S. Department of Defense has officially released the names of the 30 American troops who were killed in the Chinook helicopter crash in Afghanistan over the weekend.
Brian Bill, a 31-year-old Navy SEAL from Stamford, was one of the 30 who died in the crash on Aug. 6. The Department of Defense did not immediately release the names and only released them on Thursday.
Gov. Dannel Malloy on Wednesday ordered the flags to be flown at half staff until the burial or memorial service.
“Chief Petty Officer Bill’s family and friends are in our prayers as we grieve the loss of a true Connecticut hero,” said Malloy said. “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 graduated Trinity Catholic High School in 1997. A vigil will be held Saturday at 7 p.m. at Trinity Catholic High School. Organizers of the vigil ask guests to bring their own candle to hold.
During his career, Bill was decorated with three Bronze Stars with Valor, Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons and three Good Conduct Medals.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Cecilia Parish, 1184 Newfield Ave., Stamford, at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 19. He will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Donations may be made to Navy SEAL Foundation at navysealfoundation.org or to Norwich University in his name for a scholarship to be named later.
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.