SEATTLE, WA, USA U.S. Marines LTCOL, 3D LAAD, MACG-38, 3D MAW, CAMP PENDLETON, CA BAGHDAD, IRAQ 03/30/2008
Marine Lieutenant Colonel William Hall of Seattle had two loves in his life: the Marine Corps and his family.
“He was very proud to be a Marine,” his cousin told KING. “He ate, lived and breathed the Marine Corps. He was even excited about going to serve in Iraq.”
Lieutenant Colonel Hall deployed to Iraq in February and sent his family and friends an e-mail in March.
“Please don’t think that I am trying to paint the picture of this country as a rose garden, because it isn’t,” he wrote. “It’s still a very dangerous place, and people are dying here every day. I am doing fine, I am safe, and will write again soon.” Lieutenant Colonel Hall died the next day of wounds suffered in a roadside bombing in Fallujah. He was 38 years old.
“I can’t tell you how fine this young man was – the finest husband, father, son, Marine, individual – warm, gracious, just our very best,” a friend told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Lieutenant Colonel Hall was a graduate of Washington State University and had a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix. He served 15 years in the Marine Corps.
“He could have chosen anything, an astronaut, an engineer, anything,” another cousin told KCPQ. “He was dedicated.”
Lieutenant Colonel Hall had a wisdom, a maturity beyond his years that enabled him to provide sound counsel to his elders and, at the same time, guide those far younger than himself.
“He could be having a conversation with me and then my 10-year-old niece could walk in the room and he’d capture her like he’d just captured me,” said Hall’s eldest sister, Dolores Perry, 56, of Seattle. “He could talk to anyone — from the minister to a drug addict. He was just that kind of person.”
Lieutenant Colonel Hall, a 1987 graduate of Seattle’s Garfield High School, embodied a quiet strength and respect for tradition — both the traditions of the Marine Corps, where he moved up the ranks over the course of his 15-year career, and his family’s traditions. Like coming home at Christmas and calling his mother at Easter, which he did this past Easter Sunday.
According to his family, this was Lieutenant Colonel Hall’s second deployment to Iraq, where he was training Iraqi troops to take over the duties of American soldiers. And while he didn’t try to downplay the danger he faced, Hall also spoke of the good things happening in the war-torn country.
“I know most of what you hear on the news about Iraq is not usually good news and that so many are dying over here,” Lieutenant Colonel Hall wrote in a March 27 e-mail to his family, two days before he was fatally wounded. “That is true to an extent but it does not paint the total picture, and violence is not everywhere throughout the country. So please don’t associate what you see on the news with all of Iraq.”
He ended his e-mail with: “Love you and miss you. I’ll write again soon.”
Hall was buried today with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. He is survived by his widow, Xiomara, and daughters, Tatianna, 6, and Gladys, 3, and stepsons, Xavier, 13, and Xander, 9.