Lakenheath grieves loss of one of their own
April 7, 2009
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — RAF Lakenheath is mourning one of its airmen, who was killed while deployed to Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Phillip Myers, 30, of Hopewell, Va., was killed Saturday by a roadside bomb in Helmand province, an Air Force release stated. Myers was an Air Force explosive ordnance disposal craftsman assigned to the 755th Air Expeditionary Group, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.
Myers was nearing the end of a six-month deployment to Afghanistan when he was killed, said Air Force Staff Sgt. Nathan Gallahan, a spokesman for the base’s public affairs office.
"The mood on base is somber; we lost one of our own," Gallahan said.
Myers is the second Lakenheath-based airman to die in Iraq or Afghanistan, Gallahan said. Airman 1st Class Jason Nathan, 22, of Macon, Ga., was killed by a roadside bomb June 23, 2007, while on patrol in Iraq. Lakenheath named its Gate 2 the "Nathan Gate" in his honor. It is too early to say if Myers will be honored in similar fashion, Gallahan said.
The base commander, Col. Jay Silveria, issued a message to airmen at Lakenheath.
"It is with great sadness that I inform you of the loss of a talented Liberty Wing airman," Silveria, who is also commander of the 48th Fighter Wing at Lakenheath, said in the message. "Sergeant Myers was an exceptional NCO, dedicated warrior and valued patriot who died in an effort to protect his comrades.
"His family, squadron wingmen here and in Afghanistan, and countless friends in the United Kingdom and across the United States Air Force will mourn his death."
Myers, a member of the 48th Civil Engineering Squadron, was honored this past year as the Air Force Civil Engineering Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year. He received the Bronze Star in March 2008 for his service in Iraq.
A memorial service to honor Myers is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday in RAF Lakenheath’s hangar 6.
He is survived by his wife, two children, parents and a brother.