« To Iraq and back for Marine soccer player | Main | Canton, Mich., Marine brothers cross paths in Iraq »

The Heart of a Marine

Yellow Ribbon Week
Saluting the soldiers in Iraq and their families back home

The Heart of a Marine

(Georgette & Roy Frank on their son Phillip Frank)

http://www.pioneerlocal.com/cgi-bin/ppo-story/localnews/current/eg/03-16-06-863264.html


We're writing this letter to talk a bit about our son, Phillip Frank.

As far back as we can remember Phillip was always the protector. He would be the kid who would step between the bully and the small child being teased. Phillip grew up to be everything we could have wanted in a son, and more. He was gentle, loving and warm, but he was also courageous and fearless. He had a great sense of humor, an avid interest in history and music. He also played ball, wrestled in high school and studied martial arts.

On 9/11 we lived in New Jersey. On that day we stood side by side and watched the World Trade Center burn. The next day Phillip told us that if the United States declared war, he would join the first branch of the military that would take him. Georgette told him that he would have to finish school first.

We moved to Illinois in 2002. Our son had moved here about six months prior to secure a job and to be with Georgette's family whom he adored. He loved Elk Grove Village.

We always believed that the military was something that would eventually attract him; he always had wanted to be a soldier. Well, we got the call he had decided to join up, and we were not to waste our breath trying to talk him out of it. After several days of consideration, he chose the Marines.

Roy remembers one quiet moment when he asked, "Phil, why did you join the Marine Corps?" He said, "Dad, I joined to fight." Playing to him in a humorous vein, Roy said, "Phil, everybody joins the service to go to college for free, and you, you joined to fight?"

He reached out putting his hand on Roy's shoulder, and with a very serious look in his eye said, "Dad, I fight today, so you don't have to fight tomorrow." We hugged, but Roy never forgot Phil's intensity, nor his commitment to the Marine Corps and our great country. Yes, he was a patriot who believed in what we were doing in Iraq, and wanted to go there to, as he put it, bring the kind of freedom to the Iraqi people that we here so take for granted.

He was deployed to Iraq in February 2004 with his beloved Marine Corps. On April 8, 2004, we sat in the family room, and were told by two Marines in full dress blues along with a Navy chaplain, that our beloved Phil had been killed in action outside of Ramadi near Fallujah. No words ever written in the English language can express that feeling of loss we experienced, and still experience today. Through many months of grieving and sorrow, we came to believe that Phillip's death was a part of a much greater plan, God's plan. With this in mind, we have channeled our energies into the forming of The Heart Of A Marine Foundation. Phillip had always told us that all members of the military are his brothers and sisters, and that made us their Mom and Dad. With his giving and caring spirit in mind, the Foundation will look to improve the quality of life for members from all our military branches, whether they are recruits, deployed or veterans. That is our continuing goal and our pledge in our son's name.

Proud parents
of a Fallen Hero,

Roy & Georgette Frank

Elk Grove Village