“As a widow, life doesn’t go on the same way. Life without our family, as a whole, never gets easier. You find a new normal, and you just learn how to handle it in a different way,” explained Aimee Myers whose husband, Phillip, was killed disarming a roadside IED in Afghanistan.
As an EOD tech in the Air Force, Phillip disarmed over 80 IED’s during his last deployment in Afghanistan, saving the lives of countless others.
“He loved his job. It was extremely dangerous and there wasn’t a day I didn’t worry about him. But it’s what he loved, so I loved it, too. I was a proud military wife,” stated Aimee.
Together they had lived overseas for almost 10 years, and never discussed where they would want to live if they ever moved back. Aimee had to make the decision, alone, on where to move her family stateside. South Carolina was where her finger landed, with no meaning behind it besides the proximity to I-85. It was a straight shot to Arlington National Cemetery, and that was her priority. She wanted to make sure her kids had the opportunity to visit their father’s grave whenever they wanted. Each year on April 4, the anniversary of his death, she brings her children to Arlington where they have breakfast 'with’ their dad and where they spend family time before having to leave, again.
There are so many amazing memories she has of her husband, from 10-years of marriage. Her fondest memories are him being a father. Their children thought the world of Phillip, and she loved watching him with them.
“The week before he left on his last deployment, he took the kids to a dinosaur park so they could have some time together, just the three of them,” Aimee explained. “He would do things like that often, because it was important for them to spend time together while he was home.”
On any holidays or special occasions, the family celebrates him. On Veterans Day, Aimee usually attends the Veteran’s Day service at her kids’ schools. In the evening, they send balloons and letters up to their dad in heaven. The kids spend a lot of time talking about what a great father he was, and the legacy he left behind.
Aimee’s most challenging moments are when she has to be in two places at once, and it’s just not possible. She has to make the decision on which child’s performance or activity to go to, and which one to be late to.
Aimee believes that every child’s education is important, due to it being the foundation of their future successes. Although her children are still young, it is relieving for Aimee to know that they will one day be taken care of through the help of Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation.