Monday, July 09, 2007

Eric Lill remembered by father

CHICAGO -- Army Specialist Eric Lill, who was killed in Iraq by animprovised explosive device, was so determined to join the military he wouldn’t take no for an answer, his father said Sunday.

Lill, 28 was rejected when he initially tried to enlist because he failed to meet physical fitness requirements, said Anthony Lill. But instead of feeling sorry for himself, Lill began exercising more and eating better, and was allowed to enlist in February of 2002.

“He worked so hard. He definitely wanted to get in,” Anthony Lill said. “He was not going to let the first rejection keep him out of it.”

Lill, who was attached to the 2nd Infantry Division based at Ft. Carson, Colo., died Friday in Baghdad following an attack on his vehicle during a patrol, said Anthony Lill, speaking by phone from his home in Lawrenceburg, Tenn.

“He was definitely doing what he wanted to do,” Anthony Lill said.

Lill grew up in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood and planned to return to area when he was discharged from the Army in June 2008, according to his father. He attended St. Laurence High School in suburban Burbank and played hockey at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., where he studied briefly before enlisting.

The recently divorced father of two had helped trained Iraq police officers, Anthony Lill said. This was his second tour of duty in Iraq.

“He always told us that it was boring, but I don’t know if he was just telling us that so we wouldn’t worry,” Anthony Lill said.

From the Pantagraph

Related Link:
Eric Lill reported killed in Iraq