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My husband came to the United States at the age of 12 not speaking a word of English. He joined the AF at 18 due to loyalty and a love for his adopted country. He intended to get out after 4 year, but along the way, he became deeply committed to the principles of our country. He believed in rights for all people every where. He was willing to lay down his life so that others could have the freedoms he held so dear. On April 27, 2011, he gave his life in Kabul, Afghanistan where he was training and believing in the Afghani people. After 26 years of military service and rising from the most basic enlisted rank, my husband gave all. His legacy is is five children, four of whom serve in the US military. He passed on a love of country, selflessness, and a commitment to the oppressed people every where. He also passed on a wicked sense of humor. His family motto that he repeated ad nauseum since the children were five was , "Don't quit. Don't fail. Don't get anyone pregnant." Phil was a husband that did not do grand slams, yet every morning for 23 years he brought me the newspaper and coffee in bed. I am an early bird. He would get up early just to serve me. When our children had grown and left the house, he pushed me to fulfill my dream of running all over the United States. My goal was to complete a marathon in every state. As of today, I have 14 states left. Phil invested our resources so that my childhood dream could befome a reality. Phil coached and mentored people every where we lived. His footprints are so large, I am left grasping for foothold in the gaping chasm left behind. He will be sorely missed. I loved him then. I love him now. I will love him more tomorrow. Always in my heart, my friend.
“The footprints are gigantic.”
Honor & Remember Our American Hero Major Phil Ambard
US Air Force Hometown: Edmonds, Washington
Phil was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He moved to the United States at the age of 12. He didn't speak a word of English. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force as an Airman Basic. Phil Ambard started as an enlisted airmen and zoomed through the ranks during a 25-year career. Raised in Edmonds, Washington, he earned his bachelor’s degree in night school in addition to a Masters degree from the University of Colorado and a Ph.D. at the University of Denver. Ambard wanted to teach at the Academy and got a job in the school’s department of foreign languages. He had a gift for French in addition to his fluency in his native Spanish. Ambard was honored as an outstanding professor in 2005 and the school’s company grade officer of the year for 2006. Not bad for a kid who had to teach himself English. Major Philip Ambard inspired achievement in everyone around him. But he never pushed anyone harder than he drove himself. As a believer in Jesus Christ as his savior, Phil lived his life with integrity, faith, and a commitment to do what he could to make a difference in the lives of others. His humility never allowed him to see the impact that he had on the many people, but, oh, how he made a difference with his coaching, teaching, friends, hosting cadets, military colleagues, and most importantly, his family. Phil Ambard didn’t accomplish things for selfish reasons earning an officer’s rank, all the education, the dedication to the Air Force was all about building a better life for his family. United States Air Force Academy assistant professor Maj. Phil Ambard, 44, was killed along with seven other airmen by a veteran Afghan military pilot. Air Force Maj. Philip D. Ambard 44, Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom 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. Never Forget Major Phil Ambard USAF Always Remember