Saturday, July 07, 2007

Eric Lill reported killed in Iraq

A Chicago-area soldier serving in Iraq was killed after being struck by a roadside bomb, his family said Saturday.

Eric Lill, 28, was on his second tour of duty in the country, where he was training the Iraqi police force, said his father, Anthony Lill, of Lawrenceburg, Tenn.

Anthony Lill said his son was pronounced dead around 11 a.m. Friday in Baghdad.

Lill had been transferred from an Army base in Germany to the 2nd Infantry Division in Ft. Carson, Colo., where he hoped to see his two children more frequently, his father said. But the unit was deployed to Iraq in October, and Lill worried about the danger of the mission.

"He was leery about going to Iraq this time because the unit had a history of casualties," Lill said.

Lill said his son was born and raised in Chicago and was a graduate of St. Laurence High School in suburban Burbank.

He was the father of a 4-year-old girl, Mikayla, and 6-year-old boy, Cody. Eric Lill and his former wife were divorced in March while he was in Iraq, his father said.

Lill was scheduled to be discharged from the Army in June 2008 and planned to work at Scholle Corp., a food packaging plant in Northlake, his father said.

But Lill also had voiced concerns about his transition to life after the military.

"He didn't want to lose that camaraderie with the other soldiers," his father said.

From the Chicago Tribune