CARTER, OK, USA U.S. Army SPC, COMPANY B, 1ST BATTALION, 502D INFANTRY, 2 BCT, FORT CAMPBELL, KY BAGHDAD, IRAQ 02/24/2008
His knack for drawing and love of history could’ve landed Private First Class Michael Phillips in college, but he had told his parents he wanted to be GI Joe when he grew up. Phillips fulfilled his dream, but he lost his life.
The 19-year-old died February 24th near Baghdad after the vehicle he was in was hit by an explosive device.
Phillips, a member of the 101st Airborne based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, died in the attack, but the other men in the Humvee escaped with minor injuries, said his mother, Anglia Phillips.
“He was a hero,” she explained. “What I’ve heard from his squad is that he was an excellent soldier who was always trying to improve himself and was always willing to go the extra mile. He’s more of a man than most will be.”
Michael had written to his family and former teachers at Ardmore High School while serving in Iraq. When he was home on leave, Phillips visited his 18-year-old brother and other students at school.
“He had an infectious smile,” said Jake Falvey, assistant principal. “He was an outgoing kid, and you could see the maturity in him; he had grown up quite a bit.”
Michael was an astute student who loved history and ran track and cross-country. He excelled at drawing and had been offered admission to the San Francisco Art Institute, Mrs. Phillips said. But serving his country meant more than going to college, she said.
“He came home one day and said he wanted to join the Army, and we got in the car and went down to the recruiting station,” Anglia Phillips said. “He said terrorism was like a virus. It had to be stopped. It had to be contained.”
She said her son was re-enlisting to join for two more years. “He didn’t want to leave his squad, his guys,” she said.
Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13