Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tarryl B. Hill killed during combat operations

At his grandson's graduation from boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., last year, George Hill found a shirt that declared him as the grandfather of a Marine.

Pfc. Tarryl Hill quickly came over with a shirt that better described their relationship: "George Hill is the father of a Marine."

"We raised him from the age of 4 months," George Hill, 59, said Saturday evening. "I raised him as a son. He never called me grandfather. He always addressed me as Father."

Hill, 19, of Shelby Township was killed Wednesday in Fallujah, Iraq, when his vehicle hit a bomb. He was a member of the 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, a Selfridge-based reserve unit profiled by the Free Press as Michigan's Band of Brothers.

A 2005 graduate of Southfield-Lathrup High School in Lathrup Village, Hill and his cousin Steven Hill joined the Marines last year without telling their grandfather.

The cousins were never separated until Tarryl Hill went to Iraq in December; Steven Hill stayed at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

"They looked at each other as brothers," George Hill said.

Family members said they will remember Hill as a kind soul who was willing to help with any chore.

"When it would snow, he would shovel," said Kim Hill, 30, his aunt. "He didn't ask for money. Just a good-hearted kid."

Hill was born in Detroit but lived with his grandparents in Lathrup Village until they moved to Shelby Township two years ago. He was athletic, liked sports and had an interest in taking apart cameras and radios and then trying to figure out how to put them back together.

George Hill said he planned to study chemical engineering at Lawrence Technological University. After entering the military as a cook in April 2006, he also started to develop an interest in culinary arts.

Besides his grandfather, Hill's survivors include his grandmother, Sue Hill; his mother; two sisters, and two brothers.

Marine Maj. Shannon Wiley said Saturday that Hill's remains are expected to return to the United States this week.

From the Free Press