Memorial Day Post Six – 1st Lt. Phillip Neel May 24, 2007Posted by daveintexas in honor.
The young platoon leader had sustained a serious leg wound about 10 minutes after midnight Easter Sunday but continued to give orders for his men to return fire from where he’d fallen.
In this case, Fredericksburg Texas. The home of Admiral Chester Nimitz.
Phillip’s unit, the 3rd Battalion, 3rd of the 8th, part of the 1st Cavalry Division, became engaged in a fight north of Baghdad on Easter Sunday. He was mortally wounded in that struggle. And yet he commanded his troops to fight. Although mortally wounded, he ordered men under his command to return fire from their position.
He had recently come back from a brief trip home to visit his loved ones.
Neel had recently returned home to Fredericksburg while on a two-week leave from his duty station at Baquba, Iraq, to join his brothers and sisters in a surprise spring break visit for their parents who have lived in Fredericksburg since moving here in 1996 from Ft. Leavenworth, KS, after his father retired as a lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Army.
Phillip enlisted in the Army after he graduated in 1998. He went to Kosovo, having qualified as a paratrooper. But later he decided to come back and attend and study at West Point.
He earned his commission in May, 2 years ago.
In addition to his parents, Neel is survived by a grandmother, Katherine (Mrs. Zeke) Lewis of Fredericksburg, along with five brothers and sisters.
My heart goes out to each and every one of them. God grant you peace, and comfort, in your pain and loss.
UPDATE: I neglected to note his honors.
The Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal with Bronze Star, Global War on Terrorism (Service) Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Expert Infantryman Badge, the Parachute Badge and the Italian Parachutist badge.
He’ll be awarded the CIB too, and I daresay there is one making its way through the chain of command for valor.