STAMFORD, CT (WCBS 880) — A Navy SEAL who was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan was remembered by friends and family Friday in Connecticut.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau reports

There was a heavy military presence at St. Cecilia’s church in Stamford. More than a thousand people, including the governor, turned out for the funeral of Navy SEAL Brian Bill.

Outside the church were two fire trucks, their ladders extended high above a giant American flag.

In his homily, Father Richard Futie, who has known Bill for most of his life, spoke of a life of great promise, a young man who showed exceptional dedication to God and country at an early age.

His family said he wanted to return to graduate school after completing his military service and hoped to become an astronaut.

Bill will be laid to rest at Arlington. His funeral was held just four days before what would have been his 32nd birthday.

He had been a Navy SEAL since 2003.

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