Friday, February 16, 2007

Tarryl Hill remembered

SHELBY TWP. - Tarryl Hill had been a Marine for only nine months.

He joined the service to help pay for college, dreaming of becoming a chemical engineer, said his grandfather George C. Hill, whom Tarryl Hill thought of as a father and called dad.

"After he went into the Marines, he loved it," said Hill, a Shelby Township resident. "He loved the adventure."

Hill, a 2005 graduate of Southfi eld-Lathrup High School who had attained the rank of private first class in the U.S. Marine Corps, died Wednesday after a bomb went off under the vehicle he was riding in while he was serving in Fallujah, Iraq.

It was less than two months after the 19-year-old's unit was called to Iraq.

Hill enjoyed playing basketball, football, darts and was quite good with his hands, said his grandfather, who is a pastor of Zion Temple Church of God in Christ in Romeo.

"He was the type of person that if you buy him a radio, he would tear it down and then put it back together," he said. "He was very interested about things."

Hill and his cousin had talked about joining the Marines to help earn money for college, Hill said. That conversation led them to enlisting together on Easter of last year. After boot camp, Hill was stationed in Virginia. He left for Iraq on Dec. 13.

His death has hit the family very hard, said Hill, who, with his wife, raised his grandson. But, Hill said he is proud the boy he loved as a son died a hero.

"It hurts," he said. "I've had him and loved him ever since he was 4 months old.

"His death was meaningful. ... It was something he chose to do, and I have to respect that."

One particular memory that is special to Hill was when Tarryl Hill picked out a Tshirt for him that said father of a Marine, rather than the T-shirt that said grandfather.

"The last time I talked to him was Jan. 31 and he called and it was 5 p.m. here, but it was 1 a.m. at night there," Hill said. "He told me, TI stayed up just to talk to you and Mom, Dad. I love you.' "

"He wanted me to know that he was living the way I would want him to and he was using the things I instilled him as a father and as a pastor."

Tarryl Hill often talked to his family about praying seven times a day and reading his Bible as much as possible, Hill said.

"I'm proud of him and I miss him," Hill said. "But God doesn't make any mistakes. I have to go on and enjoy the 19 years God gave me with him.

In addition to Tarryl Hill's grandparents, survivors include his brothers, Joshua and Jeremiah, and sisters, Dedra and Dominique. The time of the funeral is pending, but will be at New St. Paul Church of God in Christ in Detroit. Arrangements will be handled by Paradise Hills Funeral Home in Detroit, family members said.

From the Press

Related Link:
Tarryl B. Hill killed during combat operations