Saturday, January 20, 2007

Army Sgt. Phillip D. McNeill

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Phillip D. McNeill, 22, of Sunrise, Fla.

Sgt. McNeill was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry (Airborne), 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska; died Jan. 20 in Karma, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee.

Sgt. Phillip McNeill, 22, a combat medic paratrooper from Cincinnati, Ohio, and Sunrise, Fla. was killed Saturday by roadside bomb near Karmah outside Baghdad.

McNeill, a member of a military family, went to Iraq in September. It was his second tour of duty. His mother said that when the family sent care packages, he insisted they send enough cookies or clean bedsheets for everyone in his unit.

His stepfather, Jeff Fiely, is a deputy sheriff and an Army Reserve warrant officer whose deployments overseas included Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the Cincinnati Post.

McNeill was with the Army's 4th Brigade Airborne Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, which deployed to Iraq from Alaska last fall.

The family of an Ohio native says the soldier was killed Saturday in Iraq when an explosive struck his Humvee in Al Anbar province.

US Army Sergeant Phillip McNeill was deployed to Iraq in September for a second tour of duty after about three years in the military.

The 22-year-old had most recently been stationed in Wainwright, Alaska.

The US Department of Defense had not yet confirmed the death.

McNeill's mother and stepfather live in Clermont County in southwest Ohio.

His father lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

His mother says McNeill insisted that she include enough cookies or other goodies in care packages for everyone in his unit.

A Cincinnati native was killed in Iraq on the deadliest day for the military there in two years.

Army Sergeant Phillip McNeill was from Kenwood and still has family in the Tri-state.

9News spoke with Clermont County Sheriff A.J. Rodenberg who said that Phillip, his older brother Chris and their step-father Jeff Fieley, all considered it an honor to serve their county.

Sgt. McNeill was just 22 years old when he died Saturday after a roadside bomb exploded outside his humvee.

His stepfather went to the Clermont County Sheriff's Office to tell Sheriff Rodenberg about the sad news in person.

Sheriff Rodenberg said, "It's really overwhelming to me at times. I get very upset about it."

Rodenberg's own son, Nick, was in Iraq at the time Phillip McNeill was.

The parents talked about concerns for their sons and Rodenberg said Nick is wrestling with the news of Sgt. McNeill's death.

"He has issues with that, we've talked several times about why he came back and others haven't. It's perplexing, our boy is spared and other men and women aren't spared."

Sgt. McNeill died the same day 24 other members of the military lost their lives in Iraq.

Sheriff Rodenberg said the total number of lives touched is incredible.

"I just think of our son, anybody's son who dies. How many people would that death affect? Add brothers sisters aunts uncles classmates, neighbors, we're talking for every life lost hundreds are touched."

Sgt. McNeill's stepfather, Jeff Fiely, in addition to being a sheriff's deputy, is still in the military.

He returned from a mission in South America just today, and then got the news about his stepson

Army Sgt. Phillip D. McNeill was killed on 1/20/07.

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