News Published: May 25, 2012 - 11:03 AM

Fallen soldiers honored at State Capitol

By State Senator Carlo Leone's office

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State Senator Carlo Leone (D-Stamford) speaks in the State Capitol Complex at a ceremony honoring the memory of seven Connecticut soldiers who gave their lives in the war in Afghanistan, including Navy SEAL Brian R. Bill of Stamford.
HARTFORD, CT - State Senator Carlo Leone (D-Stamford), Senate Chair of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, joined Thursday Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman and other officials at a State Capitol ceremony to honor the sacrifices of seven Connecticut soldiers killed in the war in Afghanistan.

“The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have touched the lives of families all across Connecticut and our entire county. As Memorial Day approaches, it is only appropriate that we should gather to mourn the loss of these soldiers, who so recently gave their lives in defense of our freedoms,” said Senator Leone.

Among the seven soldiers honored was Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Brian R. Bill of Stamford.

Senator Leone said, “Chief Petty Officer Brian Bill was loved by everyone that he met. He was a favorite son of Stamford, and quickly established himself as a standout amongst the elite Navy Seals. He was and will continue to be an inspiration to all of us, and we must never forget his sacrifice.”

A solemn ceremony was held late this afternoon in the Atrium of the Legislative Office Building. Families of many of the new honorees and of the 56 Connecticut military men and women previously lost in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan were in attendance.

Afterward, portraits of all seven soldiers were hung on the State Capitol’s Wall of Honor. Those soldiers are:

Army Spec. Philip C.S. Schiller, 21, of Winsted (2012)
Army Spec. Richard C. Emmons, 22, of North Granby (2011)
Army Pfc. Eric D. Soufrine, 20, of Woodbridge. (2011)
Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Brian R. Bill, 31, of Stamford (2011)
Army Sgt. Edward J. Frank II, 26, of Hartford (2011)
Army Staff Sgt. Ari R. Cullers, 28, of Waterford (2011)
Army Spec. Dennis Pratt, 34, of Southington (2009)

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