Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Air Force Maj. Philip D. Ambard

Remember Our Heroes

Air Force Maj. Philip D. Ambard, 44, of Edmonds, Wash.

Major Ambard was assigned to 460th Space Communications Squadron, Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.; died April 27, 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained from gunfire from an Afghan military trainee.

Maj. Philip D. Ambard, an Air Force man who grew up in Edmonds and lived in Colorado Springs, CO, has been identified as one of eight U.S. airmen killed Wednesday in Afghanistan.

A financially distressed 50-year-old Afghani Air Corps pilot reportedly opened fire at Kabul International Airport after an argument, killing seven other U.S. military personnel and an American civilian contractor. The shooter, identified as Ahmad Gul, was killed.

Mr. Ambard, 44, was born in Venezuela and moved to Edmonds at age 12. According to DJ Jakala, spokeswoman for the Edmonds School District, no records have been found that he attended school in the district. He joined the Air Force after high school, and served in the Air Force for 25 years. He was assigned to the 460th Space Communications Squadron, Buckley Air Force Base, CO. Ambard, a foreign-language professor, and the others killed were trainers and advisers for the Afghan air force.

“The U.S. Air Force Academy family is deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own, Maj. Phil Ambard, and our heart-felt condolences go out to his family and friends,” Lt. Gen. Mike Gould told the Denver Post.

Mr. Ambard's wife, Linda, an elementary school P.E. teacher in Colorado Springs, and a noted runner, posted the following on her Facebook page yesterday: “I won't be posting mileage for awhile. My husband lost his life in Afghanistan yesterday. I am getting ready to fly to Dover, DE, to bring my Phil home.”

The previous day, Mrs. Ambard posted: “My heart is broken. I lost my best friend and husband of over 23 years today. He paid the ultimate cost so that all might live free.”

According to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Mr. Ambard's sustained excellence was recognized in 2006 when he earned the distinction of Company Grade Officer of the Year for the Dean of Faculty and the entire Academy. In 2007, he was sponsored by the Department of Foreign Languages for a Ph.D. program at Denver University, which he completed in 2010.

Mr. Ambard was scheduled to return to the Department of Foreign Languages in Colorado Springs in January 2012 after his year-long deployment to Afghanistan.

Mr. Ambard was a father of two children and the stepfather to three of his wife's from an earlier marriage.

Air Force Maj. Philip D. Ambard was killed in action on 4/27/11.

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