In Memoriam

Sgt. John Paul Phillips

If you have any information related to Sgt Phillips,  his contributions to our MSG and USMC legacy,
or any personal recollections,  please send a note so that we can might all be able to share his memory
to: history@embassymarine.org

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Sgt. John P. Phillips
Marine Security Guard Detachment
 US Embassy: Cairo

Died Aug. 16 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio from wounds he received while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq March 7

       Detachments: US Embassy Cairo, Egypt 1998 - 1999
                       MOS: motor vehicle operator
EOD Technician
              USMC Bio:
Enlisted: 1996
Re-enlisted after 11 Sep 2001
Iraqi Freedom 2004 - 1st Tour
Iraqi Freedom 2005 - 2nd Tour  (9th ESB)
           9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force i

Photos and comments from Mic Smith / The Post & Courier Charlston S.C.

Awards & Decorations

- Purple Heart
- Marine Security Guard Ribbon
- Iraq Campaign Medal
- Global War on Terroism Medal
- National Defense Service Medal

Personal Bio:

Personal Bio:
DOB: 1977
                     Parents:  Allen & Linda Phillips
                    Spouse: Stephanie Neart - Phillips
                    Brothers: Chris Phillips
Will Phillips (deceased)
               Occupation: Explosive ordnance disposal technician with 3rd MLG's 9th Engineer Support Battalion,
             Date Passed: 7 Mar 2006
Place of internment: Laid to rest with full military honors at Sunset Memorial Cemetery in  St. Stephen. Charlston, SC

Source: http://www.okinawa.usmc.mil/Public%20Affairs%20Info/Archive%20News%20Pages/2006/060901-phillips.html

Hundreds gather on Hansen to honor fallen EOD Marine
Lance Cpl. Bryan A. Peterson

CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa (Sep 1, 2006) -- More than 200 people gathered in Camp Hansen's West Chapel Aug. 21 to honor a 3rd Marine Logistics Group Marine who died Aug. 16 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio from wounds he received while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq March 7.

Sgt. John P. Phillips, 29, of St. Stephen, S.C., was on his second tour in Iraq, serving as an explosive ordnance disposal technician with 3rd MLG's 9th Engineer Support Battalion, when an improvised explosive device struck the vehicle he was riding in near Fallujah.

Phillips suffered severe burns on more than 77 percent of his body, and he succumbed to his wounds after five months of treatment.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1996 and received a military occupational specialty as a motor vehicle operator in 1997. He also served as a Marine security guard at the American Embassy in Cairo, Egypt from 1998-1999.

In January 2001, Phillips left the Marine Corps to pursue a new career, but after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he reenlisted.

He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom for the first time in February 2004 as a motor vehicle operator and served there for seven months. In December of that year, Phillips moved into the EOD field.

He was assigned to 9th ESB in August 2005, and he deployed to Iraq in February 2006.

At the memorial, those who knew him recalled Phillips' dedication to his job and his Marines, as well as his determination to make any situation calm.

"He regarded his Marines as more important than himself," said Sgt. Michael Chapman, an EOD technician with 9th ESB. "His leadership and knowledge inspired others, and he is a representative of what all Marines should be."

Chapman also remembered Phillips as a "good Christian man."

"He lived his life with Christ, which is why I know he is in Heaven right now," Chapman said.

Sgt. Jorge Pereira, an automotive organizational mechanic with 3rd MLG and friend of Phillips', served with him in Iraq in 2004 when the two were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, out of Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Pereira described Phillips as an eager and energetic Marine who always wanted to be either a reconnaissance or EOD Marine.

"Before our unit was supposed to come home from Kuwait a couple years ago, he stayed behind for an extra three weeks so he could get himself into the EOD field," Pereira said. "I told him he was crazy, but that's what he wanted to do because he really believed in it."

Lt. Col. Mark Menotti, 9th ESB's commanding officer, referred to Phillips as an absolute fighter and praised his commitment to the Corps.

"He (lateral) moved to a dangerous field," Menotti said. "He was a selfless Marine ... and he made the move for his country, Marine Corps and family."

Pereira said Phillips was an adept, proficient Marine who always passed on a wealth of knowledge.

"He was one of the smartest guys I have ever known," Pereira said. "He taught me a lot when he was in his first (military occupational specialty) field. I remember one time he went to a course at 29 Palms that was aimed at infantry tactics, and he finished first, beating the other grunts. That's the kind of person he was."

Days after Phillips' Marine Corps family mourned him here, his immediate family, loved ones and hundreds of Americans who never even knew him attended his funeral services in South Carolina.

The Post and Courier newspaper of Charleston, S.C., reported that family and friends filled the pews of Russellville Christian Church Aug. 26 while more than 200 Patriot Guard Riders gathered outside to mourn Phillips. Phillips was laid to rest with full military honors at Sunset Memorial Cemetery in nearby St. Stephen.

According to their Web site, the Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of patriots from across America who attend funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests and show sincere respect for the fallen, their families and their communities and shield the mourning family and friends from interruptions created by any protestors.

Phillips is survived by his wife, Stephanie Phillips, whom he married in early June in a small bedside ceremony at the hospital in Texas. The Post and Courier reported that, "When he was inured in March, Stephanie Phillips left behind her job as an accountant, her brand new car and the apartment that the couple shared in Niceville, Fla."

She was with him until the end.

Source: http://patriotguard.org/Forums/tabid/61/view/topic/forumid/29/postid/186845/Default.aspx

Mission Update - posted Wednesday, August 23 @ 5:30 pm

Staging location:
Lee’s Citgo Gas Station on Hwy 52 in St. Stephen. Street address: 3792 Byrnes Drive (Mapquest link: http://tinyurl.com/oq3hd).  


Arrive ~ 9:30 at least so that you can eat, gas up, and catch up with fellow members before the briefing.


There will be a condolence book in circulation. Please be sure to sign it and include your town/state along with any comforting thoughts/wishes for the Phillips family.


Mission Briefing: 1000 hours sharp

Kickstands up: 1015 hours to travel to Russellville Christian Church


Set up and be ready for when the family arrives for the service at 1100 hours


After the funeral service begins, there will be a special mission for active/retired USMC personnel. Please notify me upon arrival at Lee’s Citgo if you would like to be part of this mini-mission.


After the services, we will join the funeral procession to St. Stephen for interment.


**We will need three motorcycles, two flying large USA flags and one flying a large USMC flag, to be part of the lead of this procession. The rest of us will fall in after the family. Road-tested, mounted flagpoles are needed. If you can help, see Steam at the Citgo during staging**



-We will be standing at the visitation at the Dial-Murray Funeral Home in Moncks Corner Friday evening (August 25). If you interested in participating in this, please contact Theresa Raley immediately.

- Weather forecast for Saturday as of today: High of 91 degrees with a 30% chance of rain. Bring water.


-FOUR WHEELERS: If you can, please pack an ice chest with EXTRA WATER to share with your PGR family.

- Bring a Kickstand pad if you're on two wheels


- Bring a friend. Missions like this is what we’re all about.


I look forward to sharing with all of you the honor of paying respects to this war hero and his family.  Please continue to keep them in your prayers. We can only imagine the hell they have been through.


Respectfully submitted,

Sandy Nelson

(843) 425-6892


"Lead, follow, or get the hell outta the way"

Services for Sgt John P. Phillips, USMC, age 29, of Saint Stephen, SC, will be held at 1100 hours on Saturday, August 26,  at the Russellville Christain Church on Hwy 35 in Russellville, SC. Burial to follow. Be prepared to escort up to ten miles.


Staging and other details to follow.

Dates and times have not been confirmed but the family of Sgt Phillips has requested that Patriot Guard Riders honor their Marine......and honor him we will.
I have spoken this evening with the Casualty Assistance Officer.  The service could be as early as Thursday and as late as Saturday.  He and I will maintain contact from this point forward.
Patriot Guard Riders of South Carolina, I ask that you begin now making arrangements to attend this service.  Any with reasonable striking distance from our neighbors, North Carolina and Georgia, I humbly ask for your assistance.  This young Marine paid a high price for each of us.  He has fulfilled the words.........Semper Fidelis.  His family should know that his sacrifice has been acknoledge, is appreciated, and his memory honored.
Sandy Nelson of Charleston is Ride Captain for this CONFIRMED MISSION.  She will post the necessary updates as to staging areas, dates and times.
Again, the mission to honor Sergeant John P. Phillips, USMC, of Saint Stephen, South Carolina is now CONFIRMED..
Randy "Steam" Stevens
State Captain - South Carolina
Patriot Guard Riders


August 18, 2006
Media Contact: (703) 697-5131/697-5132
Public/Industry(703) 428-0711

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine, who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Sgt. John P. Phillips, 29, of St. Stephen, S.C., died Aug. 16 at Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, from wounds received while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq, on March 7. He was assigned to 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan.

Media with questions about this Marine can call the Marine Corps Bases Okinawa Public Affairs Office at 011-81-611-745-0790.

Source: Stars & Stripes

By Megan McCloskey, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Tuesday, August 22, 2006

CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa — Sgt. John Phillips was a man other Marines would go to for guidance because of his honesty and his intelligence, but mostly because he lived life from the heart, those who served with him said at a memorial service Monday.

Phillips, 29, died Aug. 16 from wounds suffered near Fallujah, Iraq, last spring.

Marines packed into the chapel on Camp Hansen to honor the explosive ordnance disposal technician, who was from St. Stephens, S.C., and served with the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group on Okinawa.

Phillips’ commanding officer, Lt. Col. Mark Menotti, described him as a “sharp, quick-minded individual” with a “calm demeanor.”

After serving as a Marine for almost five years, Phillips got out of the service in 2001, but it only took a few months before he “heard the call again,” Menotti said. He was back in the Corps by the end of the year.

“We knew that John was doing what he wanted to do, serving his country and protecting all of our lives,” his father, Allen Phillips, told the Associated Press on Friday. “He was a great son, a very devoted son, and a great Marine.”

Sgt. Michael Chapman, a close friend and fellow bomb disposal technician, told the crowd gathered for the service that Marines who knew Phillips would “seek his counsel, knowing his mind could find solutions others could not.”

Phillips had been in Iraq for only a few weeks when on March 7 a roadside bomb hit his vehicle near the gas tank.

Chapman, who was traveling with him, said everything caught on fire. Phillips sustained severe burns on more than three-quarters of his body.

Phillips and Chapman, who also was burned and needed three months of treatment, were taken to Germany and then Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. Although Phillips was unconscious for the first few weeks, he started doing better after about two months and the early prognosis was good, Chapman said.

Phillips was even able to marry his girlfriend, Stephanie Neart, at his bedside.

But not long after, an infection set into his wounds. Doctors amputated his fingers and then his legs, but his organs started shutting down.

“He was absolutely a fighter. It takes quite an individual to have had made it this far,” Menotti said at the memorial, describing Phillips’ five-month struggle to recover in Texas.

“John was truly a better man than me,” Chapman said before pausing to choke back tears. “I’m a better man for having known him and been his friend.”

Comments from John's  Friends

Source: www.legacy.com
The Guestbook of Sgt. John P. Phillips
Please follow the link above to review other guestbook entries memorializing John Paul.
Scott Robbe (Orange County, CA )
Date: August 22, 2006
John was the picture perfect hard corps Marine. I am his freind and was his roomate for 2 years out in 29 stumps. This man loved the Marine Corps and everything it stands for. I thank God for letting me meet John, he motivated me in so many way. John, I will miss you and you are always in my heart. Steph you are like a sister to me and I cant even begging to express how sorry I am for your loss.
And to the Phillips family I am deeply sorry for everything you have had to endure. No person should ever have to got through what you have been though. I look up to your courage that you all have.
I will see you all in a couple of days. SEMPER FI

Carol Hatton (Culloden, WV )
Mr. and Mrs. Phillips we are so sorry to hear of your loss. We wish we could be there to share your loss as you were with us on May 19, 2006 when we lost Cpl. William Bradley Fulks at Brooke Medical Center. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Have thought of you often and wanted to call so many times and check on John.

God knows what's best and we can't question,

Love you Both
Kimberly Adams and Carol Hatton/Brad's Mother and Grandmother

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