Air Force Tech Sgt Phillip A. Meyers—April 2012 Shipment Honoree
Myers died Saturday near Helmand province. He was awarded the Bronze Star at a March 19, 2008, ceremony at Lakenheath. He also had won the Air Force-level 2008 Major General Eugene A. Lupia Awards military technician category for significant achievements.
Other family members drove to Dover on Sunday from Virginia. The military paid for all family travel expenses to Dover.
At precisely 11 p.m., a dark blue shuttle bus carrying family members arrived, and an eight-member carry team, all wearing white gloves, marched to the aircraft. They slowly mounted the long stairs to the cargo bay and walked to the spot where a K-loader was positioned with Myers’ transfer case.
The senior officer on the team, Maj. Gen. Del Eulberg, the Air Force’s civil engineer, was joined by Col. Dave Horton and Maj. Klavens Noel, a chaplain, at the cargo bay door. The chaplain offered a brief prayer.
The team then raised the case and positioned it at the end of the K-loader, which descended slowly to the tarmac. The team then slowly bore the case to a white panel truck and loaded it inside.
The van then was driven off with an escort to the mortuary area. The ceremony was marked by silence, except for two orders from an officer.
Campbell, the chair of the Gold Star Families, said she believes that Sunday’s recognition of the significance of Myers’ sacrifice is important.
“I really do believe, when people know that other people care and remember, it does bring them some comfort,” she said. “Their loss will always be there, but it’s always comforting to know that others are not forgetting the sacrifice.”
Begleiter, who has said he launched his FOIA effort with the National Security Archive in 2004 to restore the return ceremonies at Dover to a rightful place of honor, had this to say Sunday: “This is an important victory for the American people to be able to honor their returning servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Myers was dedicated to his airmen, father saysThe Associated Press
“That was the biggest thing that surprised me,” said his father, Eddie. The younger Myers half-jokingly told his father that he took on the job because it paid more, but he wound up loving the work.
“If there’s anything we can find comfort in, it’s knowing that he died doing what he loved to do,” his father said. “That is without a doubt. He was just so enthused about it.”
Myers, 30, of Hopewell, Va., died April 4 near Helmand province of wounds suffered from an explosive. He was assigned to Royal Air Force Lakenheath in the United Kingdom.
Eddie Myers said his son looked out for the people serving under him.
“If he thought a job was too dangerous, he would get out and check it out himself,” he said. “That might be why we don’t have Phillip here today. But to me, that’s admirable.”
He graduated from high school in 1996 and worked at the Riverside Regional Jail in Hopewell before joining the military.
Phillip also is survived by his wife, Aimee, and their two children, Dakotah, 6, and Kaiden, 3.
USAFE FALLEN AIRMAN
On April 4th, 2009, Sergeant Myers gave his life in defense to his nation in performance of his duties while deployed in Afghanistan. He died of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. He is survived by his wife Aimee and his two beautiful children, daughter Dakotah and son Kaiden.
The 30-year-old father of two is only the second airman from RAFs Lakenheath and Mildenhall who has been killed while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
TSgt Myers was born in Hopewell, Virginia on March 10th, 1979. He attended Hopewell High School where he was enrolled in an accelerated education program and graduated in 1996, one year ahead of schedule. After graduating high school, he entered the civilian workforce as a corrections officer at Riverside Regional Jail and upon reaching his highest potential for promotion, decided to join the Air Force.
TSgt Myers enlisted on March 12th, 1999 and completed Basic Military Training on June 28, 1999. He then continued his training at Eglin Air Force Base attending Naval School for Explosive Ordnance Disposal. After graduating the 10-month program, TSgt Myers departed to his first duty assignment with the 31st Civil Engineer Squadron, Explosive Ordnance Flight, Aviano Air Base, Italy.
During his assignment he deployed to Al Jaber Air Base, Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was selected as 31st Mission Support Group Airman of the Quarter and was a vital team member during three Nuclear Surety Inspections receiving recognition on numerous accounts from the Inspector General as “Top Performer”. In August 2003, TSgt Myers was assigned was assigned to the 39th Civil Engineer Squadron, Explosive Ordnance Flight, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey directly supporting Operation Northern Watch. During this period, he graduated from Airman Leadership School at the top of his class, earning the prestigious John L. Levitow Award and was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant on December 1st, 2003.
TSgt Myers arrived at the 48th Civil Engineer Squadron, Explosive Ordnance Flight, RAF Lakenheath, England in September of 2005. While assigned to the Liberty Engineers, TSgt Myers’ continued superior performance earned him the Air Force Combat Action Medal and Bronze Star while deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His leadership by example and management actions directly contributed to the squadron being recognized as the United States Air Forces in Europe 2006 and 2008 “Best Large Civil Engineer Squadron” and led the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight in winning the United States Air Force “Best Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight”, 2007 SMSgt Gerald J. Stryzak award. Additionally, TSgt Myers’ phenomenal impacts earned him the 48th Fighter Wing Lance P. Sijan award and United States Air Force Military Technician of the Year, 2008.