06 April 2009

Remember Phillip

From the perspective of our little world in Texas, this weekend was easy. Saturday was a lazy day of working around the house, watching the kids run around the living room, and then after kicking them out of the house, watching them run around the back yard. Had a few calls from the hospital, but the residents were doing such a good job, all I had to do was tell them to keep up with their plans, and call me if there were unexpected changes in course. Sunday was smooth too. After checking in with my team, I competed in a fencing tournament and took 8th place out of 20. Not bad considering that 18 of them were college students! Tonight I sit down to work and I read about SSgt. Phillip A. Myers. While my family and I were relaxing at home and enjoying the blessings of liberty, he was killed by a roadside bomb near Helmand, Afghanistan, as he served faithfully to defend our way of life. He was 30 years old. He was from Hopewell, VA. He was stationed with the 48th Civil Engineer Squadron in Lakenheath, England. Here is a picture of SSG Myers as he received the Bronze Star from LG Robert Bishop Jr.

I don't know if he had a family or children. The articles about him don't say; they describe how he is the first troop the press has been allowed to film since Pres. Obama and SECDEF Gates have lifted the ban on media coverage of those killed in war.
I thank him for his service and his sacrifice. I hope those who survive him in his unit and at home can find peace. I didn't know him, but I will remember him.


David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 04/07/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Deb Estep said...

Thank you Chris for sharing about Airmen Myers.

I was going to just share the link to this article, but sometimes links change. I read on one site "it was revealed the 30-year-old had been promoted from Staff Sgt to Tech Sgt just days before his death. He had not known of his promotion."

His wife gave permission for the media coverage of his return.

Thank you Tech Sgt Myers,
may God be with your family.

xo xo
Proud AF Mom

Family mourns Hopewell airman slain in Afghanistan

By Reed Williams

Published: April 7, 2009

The mother of an Air Force sergeant whose body was returned from war Sunday said she is glad news media coverage will allow Americans to see how respectfully the military honors its dead.

Staff Sgt. Phillip Myers of Hopewell died Saturday from an explosion near Helmand province in Afghanistan. With his family's permission, the military allowed the media to cover the arrival at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, the first public return since the Pentagon lifted its 18-year ban on coverage of returning war dead.

Myers' mother, Treasa Hamilton of Polkton, N.C., said yesterday that such media coverage will allow Americans to visualize better what is happening overseas.

"They hear 30 people killed in Iraq -- they've gotten used to it," Hamilton said. "This brings it back to the forefront. They can actually see the soldiers coming home."

Myers' wife, Aimee Myers, permitted the coverage because her husband believed in his role overseas and would want the public to witness the dignity with which the war dead are returned home, Hamilton said. Aimee Myers was unavailable for comment.

"It was all very well done," Hamilton said of Sunday evening's ceremony in Dover. "It was very respectful."

Myers, a 30-year-old father of two children, had been scheduled to leave Afghanistan in mid-May and would have been moved to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, Hamilton said.

She said her son told her last week that he wanted to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery if he were killed, a request he had made previously. She said yesterday that Myers will be buried there but that a date had not been set.

Myers was assigned to the 48th Civil Engineer Squadron with the Royal Air Force in Lankenheath, England, a base that is used by the U.S. Air Force.

He was a member of an explosive ordnance disposal team, and part of his job was to disarm improvised explosive devices, his mother said. She said she didn't know whether he had been trying to disarm the IED that killed him.

"It took a lot of courage and nerves of steel, because he was constantly handling explosives and on the lookout for explosives," Hamilton said.

She said Myers had served in Iraq and Kuwait, as well as in Afghanistan, and that he had conducted bomb sweeps in Washington to protect then-President George W. Bush.

Myers attended Hopewell High School and joined the Air Force in 1999, Hamilton said. Relatives described him as a dedicated military man who believed he was protecting his friends, his family and his country.

He was especially protective of his children and would make sure his daughter, 5-year-old Dakotah, wouldn't watch TV shows with bad language, family members said.

His 2-year-old son, Kaiden, likes to build things with Legos just as his father did when he was little, Hamilton said. Once, Kaiden built a pretend gun. "He said, 'Now I have a gun like Daddy for the bad guys,'" Hamilton said.

A ceremony to honor Myers is planned for Thursday in England, Hamilton said. Hopewell Mayor Brenda S. Pelham said the city also would like to have a service for Myers if his family wishes it.

"My heart just hurts every time I see a young person" killed overseas, Pelham said.

Myers is survived by his wife and children, as well as his mother, father, brother and stepfather.