Brian Bill, whose family lives in Sarasota, was among the troops killed in Saturday's helicopter crash in Afghanistan

10:42 PM, Aug 8, 2011   |    comments
Navy SEAL Brian Bill was among the 31 troops killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Now his father is making a difference in the lives of other military families.
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SARASOTA, Florida -- A Navy SEAL whose family lives in Sarasota was among the 31 American troops killed on Saturday in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. 

31-year-old Brian Bill had volunteered to be deployed eight different times. His family says he wanted to postpone marriage or starting a family so that he could fight for freedom.

"He was putting his life on hold for this," says his stepmother, Deborah. "Brian believed fully in what he was doing. He was fighting for protection of the country he loved and freedom for all. He believed he and his fellow SEALs were making a difference, but he knew the risks were enormous."

When Brian wasn't deployed, he was visiting family in Sarasota or climbing a mountain. Deborah says he lived every day as if it was an adventure.

"The Navy SEALs were his extended family. We who knew and loved Brian personally will always have him in our hearts. He is our American hero," she says. 

Facebook page has been created in his memory. His funeral will be held in Stamford, Connecticut, where he grew up. A ceremony is also scheduled at Arlington National Cemetery.

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