SMITHFIELD, PA, USA U.S. Army MSG, COMPANY B, 2D BATTALION, 7TH SFG (AIRBONE), FORT BRAGG, NC SHKIN, AFGHANISTAN 06/15/2007
Arthur L. Lilley, 35, of Smithfield, Pa., was killed June 15 in Shkin, according to the Department of Defense. Lilley had been assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, out of Fort Bragg, N.C.
His father, Arthur F. Lilley, said his son joined the military in 1990 and fought in Desert Storm. He was also in Iraq last year.
“He’s got about 25 combat badges,” his father said.
“He loved what he was doing. He enjoyed it. That was his life,” he said. “You always worry, but it’s what he wanted to do.”
Because military service is a family tradition, Arthur Lilley wasn’t surprised when his son began talking about joining the Army while in high school.
“He was an excellent son,” his father added. “He played sports in high school. I guess you could say that he was an average student. He raced motocross, and he liked BMX bicycle racing. His recent hobby was reconditioning SUVs and using them for rock climbing. He belonged to a club. They traveled all over. He was in Utah recently. It was a dangerous sport, but he loved it.”
Lilley was colorblind and couldn’t pursue his goal of being an air traffic controller for the Air Force, so the Army became an option he never regretted, his mother, Elizabeth Lilley, told The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C.
Arthur L. Lilley was a youth minister and his wife, Christine, ran the school at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Fayetteville, N.C., Elizabeth Lilley said.
They were high school sweethearts and would have celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary in August.
Lilley is survived by his wife, Christine; daughter, Mackenzie; and son, Cole.