The Brian Bill Foundation participated in the 31Miles for 31Heroes walk in Washington D.C. to honor to fallen soldiers of Extortion 17
TAMPA, Fla. (August 14, 2019) – On August 3, local residents Scott and Jennifer Bill, along with their family, friends and supporters of The Brian Bill Foundation, walked 31 miles through the night to honor the heroes of Extortion 17. The event, 31Miles for 31Heroes, took place in Washington D.C. over a 13-hour period, beginning at The Lincoln Memorial and ending in Arlington National Cemetery.
31Miles for 31Heroes honors the 30 active duty military members and one military working dog killed in action when their helicopter was shot down by enemy fire in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. It is considered the worst loss of life in a single incident during the Afghanistan Campaign. Scott’s son, Navy SEAL Brian Bill, was on the helicopter.
Scott Bill has remarkably channeled this painful loss into a productive pursuit by establishing a nonprofit foundation to honor his son’s memory. The Brian Bill Foundation provides therapeutic support to active-duty and retired U.S. Special Operations warriors dealing with post-traumatic stress, mild traumatic brain injury and chronic pain.
“Not a day goes by where I don’t think about my son Brian and the sacrifice that he and his fellow servicemen made that day,” said Scott Bill, president and board chairman of The Brian Bill Foundation. “The walk was grueling, and many people didn’t finish it, but it will never compare to the sacrifices that our military men and women make for our country each and every day.”
During the walk, the Brian Bill Foundation Team took turns carrying a stretcher with an engraved brick for each of the 31 operators who were lost on the mission. Other participants carried two bricks in their ruck – one to represent the lives of the fallen and the other to represent the burden carried by their families. Along the route, participants also stopped to read the bios of the heroes of Extortion 17 and honor their memory.
“Our team had 30 people and one dog, which was exactly the count of warriors on Extortion 17. It felt like a sign from the guys above and God,” said Bill. “During the walk, there was a moment when each of us thought ‘I cannot carry this’ or ‘I cannot walk anymore,’ but the walk was about more than that. It was a walk to honor the heroes of Extortion 17, and their memory kept us going.”
The walk raised $ 16,198 for the foundation, which offers therapeutic retreats to special operators and their spouses free of charge. To donate to The Brian Bill Foundation, visit www.brianbillfoundation.org.
About The Brian Bill Foundation
The Brian Bill Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides therapeutic support to active-duty and retired U.S. Special Operations warriors dealing with post-traumatic stress, mild traumatic brain injury and chronic pain. The Foundation was established to honor the memory of Navy SEAL Brian R. Bill and all of his fellow Special Operations warriors who have died in service to their nation since the onset of hostilities after Sept. 11, 2001.