The life and sacrifice of West Point Grad 1LT Donaldson (Donnie) Preston Tillar III Class of 1988 was honored on February 26, 2021, at the United States Military Academy. The Class of 1988 donated a beautiful wreath for the event. The wreath-laying memorial ceremony was organized by his classmate MAJ Brian B. Mahoney ’88 who held the ceremony at Cullum Hall in front of a plaque that also honors Tillar’s service to our country.
February 27, 2021 was the 30th Anniversary of Tillar’s Death. He was born on May 13, 1965 and died at age 25 on February 27, 1991. Tillar was killed in action during Operation Desert Storm. Tillar and eight other brave soldiers were shot down in their Blackhawk helicopter during combat. He is buried at the Emporia Cemetery in Virginia.
Tillar is remembered at West Point in many ways. Tillar was the son of West Point Grad COL(R) Don Tillar ’59. When he attended USMA, Tillar played on the varsity lacrosse team and made the Dean’s List. After graduation, they commissioned him into Aviation. After flight school, Tillar was assigned to the “Big Red One” at Fort Riley in Kansas. Then a few years later in February of 1991, Tillar gave his life for his country during Operation Desert Storm. In honor of his memory, Tillar’s 1988 West Point class ring is on display at the USMA Library.