Phillip Frasher was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1969. Although he had plans to attend college, he instead decided to serve his country.
Ten days before getting his physical, he decided to get married, with the thought he would return to his new wife after his physical before heading on to Fort Jackson for Basic Training. Unfortunately, he didn’t see his wife again until after his training at Fort Sam Houston. He had 15 days with his new wife and then shipped out to Vietnam.
Phillip remembers the intense heat and the scent of the the country because of lack of sanitation when he arrived in Saigon. He was assigned to the 23rd Infantry Division where he was immediately sent out into the field with only two weeks experience as a medic. He was sent to some of the most remote firebases in Vietnam. His unit was continually moving, not staying in one place more than 2 – 3 days at a time.
Phillip remembers many fire fights and clean ups. It was difficult to keep going without breaking down. He recalls arriving at at a remote firebase by helicopter. He was part of the second wave to go in, and when he hit the ground he dug his foxhole as quickly as he could. Two soldiers in his outfit were grabbing supplies out of the chopper when they stepped on a mine. Without protection, Phillip ran from his foxhole to take care of them. He was able to stabilize them enough to get them on a medivac helicopter, which never even touched the ground because a fire fight fight broke out along the perimeter. As Phillip was running back to his foxhole for cover, he too stepped on a mine. He didn’t grasp he was hurt until he tried to get up to run and couldn’t because the explosion blew his leg off. Phillip was put in a chopper, almost dead, suffering from additional shrapnel wounds and burns. He spent 14 months at Walter Reed Hospital.
Phillip received a Silver Star, the third-highest decoration awarded exclusively for valor in combat. He also received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with Valor.
It took one year for Phillip to get his prosthetic leg because his wound was so contaminated. 46 years later, he is experiencing issues with his prosthetic and needs assistance to get things done around his home. Phillip worked 10 years as a Service Manager at a local car dealership and 15 years underground in the coal mines. “Work was your therapy”, says Phillip. “I saw so much, and God allowed me to come home. You pray real prayers.”
When asked what it means to have Purple Heart Homes assist him, Phillip responded, “It means a lot. Shows the people out there who really care.”
Thank you Phillip, for your service and devotion to your fellow soldiers. We also thank your wife Rita, for keeping the light on at home waiting for you, and we welcome you both into our Purple Heart Homes family.