Lt Col Michael A. Phillips, United States Air Force (Retired), passed away March 5, 2010, at the age of 43, following a valiant battle with cancer.

Mike was born in Elyria, Ohio and graduated from Elyria High School. He earned a physics degree from Akron University. His passion for flying led to his commission in the USAF in 1990. Mike proudly served as a Navigator, B-1B Weapons Systems Officer, Director of Operations with the 612th Combat Plans Squadron, and with Air Force Special Operations Command. He was a graduate of the USAF Weapons School, B-1 Division, and a decorated veteran of many combat operations throughout the Middle East.

Above all, Mike was a loving husband, father, and protector. He loved his wife and daughter fully. He was a loyal friend and a wise counsel to all who knew him. He had many interests, including museums, parks, Star Wars, hiking, astronomy, and rainy days. His gifts included teaching, writing, creative play, and research. His passions were his family, his Lord, and flying. He is missed and he left a lasting mark on this world through his faith, relationships and beloved family.

Character Strength Stories:

Leadership - Mike was selected for Weapons School with 8 other candidates. It is an extremely competitive, stressful and difficult 6 month program (at the time) that includes academics and flying and very little sleep. Part of the graduation requirement is a thesis. Throughout the course, the students would listen and critique each other’s paper, outline, and research. One candidate has been collecting research but has yet to get the help/input of the others. Finally, Mike and a few others told this candidate it was time to show what he had because the outline was due the next day. This candidate presented it and it was a jumbled mess. Mike was incredibly good at organizing data and writing. (A gift he taught his daughter from a young age and she has this gift as well!) Mike pulled an all-nighter with him that night to help him put all his research into an outline to present to the instructor and so he could write his paper. I love this story, because that was the core of Mike. It wasn’t about his class placement, it was about the relationships and helping everyone achieve their best. He rarely missed an opportunity to teach, encourage his friends and help people achieve their best.

-Submitted by Deanna, Surviving Wife


Inspired by Michael's Story?

Honor This Fallen Hero With Acts Of Service

Get Involved With TMF
TMF Stats:
001 78,000+ Veterans + Survivors Empowered
002 300,000+ Spartan Members
003 650,000+ Youth Living "If Not Me, Then Who..." Movement