I have mentioned my friend Phil only a couple of times on my show and at the end of every episode you will hear me read a spot for The Heart of A Marine Foundation. The Heart of A Marine Foundation was started by my friend’s parents Georgette and Roy Frank. My friend is Marine Lance Corporal Phillip E. Frank and was killed on April 8, 2004, near the towns of Fallujah and Ramadi in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq.
Phil was a great person and an even more amazing friend. I would always go to him when things were getting tough be it in school, my home life, or other personal issues. We had so much fun together growing up. We’d climb up and down the seawall that divided the land from the beach by our homes, video tape us back yard wrestling (someone always ended up bleeding) and stay out absurdly late going to “haunted” places we read about in Weird NJ. (back then you’d have to guess where the “haunted” sites were and ask around. This was over 12 years ago so no navigation apps or devices and only hints about the sites could be found on internet message boards.) With Phil there was always an adventure to be had, and we had many of them.
Phil always had this ingrained sense of justice and he took it very seriously. It was this sense of justice that I believe lead him to become a Marine. His protective nature was laid bare when we were attacked on 9/11. On September 11, 2001, Phil watched a plane crash into the World Trade Center, and the first tower crash down. He resolved to do something to protect his country and those he loved. He had just started his senior year in high school.
Sadly, Phil is no longer with us but his memory lives on. My youngest son’s middle name is Phillip in honor of my friend. There are memorials in both New Jersey and Illinois to remember him. A street in our hometown was named after him. However, his most important legacy is the positive impact he has had on the lives he touched while he was alive. This legacy has been extended by his family through The Heart of A Marine Foundation.
Their mission statement:
“The Heart Of A Marine Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides comfort, support, financial assistance, and educational resources to improve the quality of life of military personnel in ALL BRANCHES of the United States Armed Forces, including veterans, and their families.”
So, this #GivingTuesday why not give the little charity a shot? Help carry out Phil’s mission to help his fellow marines. You can read all about it and donate any amount by going to their website The Heart of a Marine Foundation.