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Memorial Day Post Six – 1st Lt. Phillip Neel May 24, 2007

Posted 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.

Where do we find such men?

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.

RIP Phillip.



1. The Memorial Day Countdown . . . « Innocent Bystanders - May 24, 2007

[…] The Memorial Day Countdown . . . May 24, 2007 Posted by Michael in AA – Uncategorized. trackback . . . continues at Dave in Texas. […]

2. geoff - May 25, 2007

That’s a lot of heroism to pack into such a brief life. It’s such a shame that we’re losing guys like this. Thank you, Lt Neel.

3. Nice Deb - May 25, 2007

Yes, it’s indeed a shame. Thanks for memorializing him, Dave.

4. cranky - May 26, 2007

Resquiat in pace et gloria.

See you on the other side, LT.

5. Bill Smith - May 28, 2007

We DON’T find such people as this.

They just show up.

Thanks, L T

6. Brad - October 21, 2008

Gen Eisenhower was the first person to ask that question “Where do we find such men?” And he asked this to one of his battle staff aides as they both looked out into the still-stained-in-American blood waters off the Normandy coast.
I never met the Lt. I was assigned to the Cav as the nurse for 3rd Brigade. I’m now at Ft Polk Louisiana. This post has as its mission training up young men like Lt Neel to go and fight this war.
I guess my attitude towards this whole unending and perhaps unwinnable conflict is like that of Jimmy Stewart’s character in Shanendoah as he speaks to the headstone of his late wife:
“And about this war, Martha. Well I just dont know. The old men talk about the need for it and the young men toalk about the glory of it and the soldiers? Well they just wanna come home. And the way I see it only the undertakers are winners.”‘
Please do not interpret any of the above to diminish the bravery or admirable life lived by men like Lt Neel or CPT Andy Houghton.

7. wally cronford - September 19, 2010

thank you so much lt i thank you my son steven cornford thanks you for all your bravery that night if not for your actions it very well could have been my wife and i and his brothers and sisters that would be grieving Lt Neel youll never be forgotten thank you so much for taking my son under your wing

wally cornford
cpl steven cornford
terri cornford
youll be in our prayers every day for the remainder

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