Fallen Heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Army Sgt. Maj. Phillip R. Albert

41, of Terryville, Connecticut.
Albert was onboard an MH-53 helicopter conducting combat operations when it crashed in Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York. Died on November 23, 2003.

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"SGM Albert. It has been 20 years; I woke up this morning and I had been back in that place, at that time. So many things have filled the 20 years - I commanded a battalion, I have retired, I have a family now, and of all things, I am called as a Baptist pastor. The life lessons I have taken from both your life and your death over the years have put me where I am - thank you for your life, and your death."
Jeremy Peifer of Coryell Cty, Texas

"Hey, Phil, it's the 20th anniversary of your departure from this world. I don't really drink anymore but I'm having a beer and a shot in your remembrance. I'm in my 6os now, and you are eternally young, but with each passing day I am closer to joining you at the celestial VFW. In the meantime, we rejoice in telling Phil Albert stories. God knows I miss you and love you. Take care, Phil."
Your buddy of A 1000 miles from nowhere

"The years are ticking by but time still stops whenever I think of you. You taught me so much about being a Platoon SGT and made me a better man and soldier. You were the only one that supported my move to Special Forces when it felt like I had committed treason, the entire Infantry branch turned their backs to this traitor. I’ve known some very special soldiers but none can compare to you. I had made so many plans to link up and tell you how much I appreciated you but that opportunity never came. I had so much to tell you... To your family; God bless and keep you. For a man to have so much character and spirit, somewhere in this family (maybe throughout it), there MUST be some really special people. If ever anyone should want to contact me, my email is as follows; devereaux45 at gmail.com"
MSG (RET) James D Gilliam of Clarksville TN

"SGM Albert

He was my 1SG at HHC 1/17 in Alaska when I first arrived from Basic. People have written of his undeniable brave act, but I wanted to share my view of him in everyday Army life before 9/11 and the deployments that followed .
At one point I was assigned to drive for the CO of HHC, which meant I drove for him SGM also on field exercises and at the NTC training center in the Mojave. I was in the 11C mortar platoon before and my first day assigned to being the driver I started doing morning PT with all the soldiers who worked in the mailroom, PAC office, and supply. It was lead by SGM Albert.
It was a Friday. That meant we did PT SGM Albert coined, "The Pepsi Challenge". We did a ten mile run. Every Friday. He was a machine when it came to running and on the other days of the week we would do his "20 minute workout" that seemed like it took about 2 hours. That was about all I knew of him, his tough workouts, since I didn't talk to him much personally.
One day my new roommate, who worked in the mail room, got the news a grandparent had died. The Army will let you hop a ride on a military aircraft for personal travel in a situation like that, but something about the scheduling made it unlikely he would make it home for the funeral. He was a private and didn't really have the funds to buy a civilian plane ticket, which being in Alaska was always expensive. At about 6 or 7 that night we got a knock on the door and my roommate opened it. It was SGM Albert. He gave my roommate $600 dollars out of his wallet and told him he didn't have to pay him back, but he wasn't to tell anyone. He was able to get his plane ticket, and I'm not sure anyone else ever knew SGM Albert did that.
It was beyond charitable and kind. Even though he had no-nonsense attitude and didn't tolerate fools, SGM Albert did so much for others without being asked. I don't know how many times he offered random soldiers in the HHC a steak dinner or beer at the VFW. He would always ask for volunteers to work at the VFW in Fairbanks, for whatever they needed from painting to handy work and even if no one ever did he always volunteered his time there.
I always look fondly on my time working under him, driving him through the desert at night or in the Alaskan wilderness on field problems, as he was always funny and willing to do anything for a soldier if they asked. I just wanted to let people know about the kind of man he was, who maybe only saw him at a distance or only knew about him from his final brave act. He was always a selfless man, and never did it for recognition or praise. I wish I knew more good men like him, it give you hope in mankind.
To his family, I offer my condolences. I knew him a short time, but he'll always stay with me."
Todd Young etoddyoung@gmail.com of Andover, MA

"SGM there is not a day goes by that I don't hear you calling me a "crackhead" for something stupid that I said or did. I was a young Soldier and you helped mold me into the man I am today. I remember all the runs and the 20 min workouts that we used to do and how you always had our best interest in mind. One of the best memories is when I was late with the truck to pick the Commander up from in front of Battalion and you pulled me aside and had a "oneway conversation" with me, I have prided myself since that day on being early with everything I do and never making anyone wait on me. It has been a long time but you will never be forgotten by this Catamount."
Jason Thomas of Ft Wainwright, AK

"Hey SGM it's Craig, You know SGM I think I took that .50 cal. in the gut and kept moving like you always spoke to us about. Your idea that there is a direct correlation between how physically (and equally mentally when your wits come about) prepared you are, and having a higher chance that you may survive an injury of great magnitude and escape the battlefield. Though I still feel lucky that I escaped with the scratch I limped away with compared to you. A broken Sternum after being struck by a crap heavy generator all not before you shielded a young lady from a barrage of death. Death jostled free by an intense and twisted impact that occurred by the report, at 75 mph, against a 3 foot dirt and rock berm. Man SGM what the $&@!?
I as probably the rest of us thought, thought I was dead! When I came too and re-aquired any semblance of my wit's all I smelt was fuel and I started sounding off, "Get the $&@! off the bird!" I also further injured Gilliam(the interrogator) because I hadn't realized there was a steep drop off to the right of her as the helicopter was laying vertically on a berm, and I sent her fumbling on her way down it heading out the back of the bird. I noticed to my left which lead further into the aircraft that there was another soldier in the tangled mess. He was wedged in there where the path thins to lead into the gunners compartment. When I moved over to try to extricate this soldier he was so ensnared into the mass of metal and twisted rod that I could not remove him. I began to start screaming for help at the top off my lungs. When I spun around to look for help I spotted the rear gunner at the bottom of the steep grade at the tail. He must have just gained conciseness. He got up saw he was alive and beat feet only to be unceremoniously acme cartoon style laid on his back at least twice before realizing the wire harness to his helmet was tangled in a stray 7.62 round belt still attached to the bird. It is strange but that lightened the mood a bit. You would have laughed your as$off SGM. So there I was alone with the man that seemed more to me integrated into the beast we rolled in on than a man. I kept attempting to extract him, pulling every corner, pulling his legs being the only thing that was out of the wreckage to be leveraged.
I remember peering through the wreckage to the gunner's compartment because I could hear faint moans, that turned into out right screams for help. I had a thought about Aggie but I was sure he was fine, as he was, sorry should have said that first. Around that time was when small arms rounds started cooking off from the fire. That is about the time I started thinking the big boy fireworks that we packed in tight would start going off too! The fire was no more pleasant as it slowly crept through the compartments. I stayed with him as long as I could...or I think that is the only thing I can tell myself without going crazy with guilt for having to leave him. As SPC Nagel stated on this page, he would have died with that soldier trying to save him before leaving him. So all I can do is wonder and dissect over and over. And all I can hope is that I was not a coward.
I guess SGM you're the only one that I have to face and answer too when I come to visit you at the gates of Valhalla. Hopefully I am admitted thru them by merit of a warriors death as you have been. Dining with gods. There are men, and rarely gods among those men, SGM you are the latter.
Well as you already know SGM that once I got off that helo and your stocky refrigerator shaped as$ wasn't telling me to pull my head out of my butt, I realized...that the soldier I left behind...was you......................................but don't worry I didn't fall to pieces just yet. After I left you I managed to cut down from the floor, which was now the ceiling, a hanging and burning soldier by the name of SSG Jonathan Purser. I ended up needing a large amount of water to douse the raging flames on this poor guy's bdu's, and how convenient that there was a giant river 5 feet from the tail rotor aft section, wherever the actual rotor was who know's. So I tossed him in the river, quite comically I should add, then my fuel covered as$ was hopping in right after him because now I believed I was on fire as well.
Once my neck hit that water and I looked up while underwater and notice my neck was free floating, that is about the time I fell to pieces. I felt every shred of adrenaline I was surviving on up to that point drain from my body. I realized my neck was fubar! When I finally got out of the water guess who comes around the corner to save the day, Aggie! With the concussed co-pilot in tow, that was bleeding from the head and in a daze that could be surmised as like he was a vault baby visiting the outside for the very first time. Aggie took over with the egress and we all lived happily ever after.
SGM Albert I hope this report helps clear up any confusion of the incident. And I can't wait to hear your critiques and wisdom that can help me get thru the next bump in the road of my life, oh wait SGM you already have......RIP SGM Phillip R. Albert"
SPC Gary Craig of Blountsville, Alabama

"SGM Albert was the first true NCO mentor that I as young LT had! We spent many afternoons and late operation order evenings talking about life and how to be a better leader. He was like a big uncle to me and he died the day before my Birthday. I was mad and hurt and just totally in shock! Now 9 years later I have many memories and one picture that I keep that was given to me. Standing next to him along with me (at the time) 1LT Lerrs, CPT Dobson, MAJ Rasmussen, him(SGM Albert), and me 1LT Lyons. An Extraodinary Leader that I will never forget! Just like many of the Soldiers whom have posted here that I know; Tomas, Nagel, Ramirez, Wenzell or Wendell, and many others he gave his young LTs lots of love and motivational encouragement too! I respected that and honored all he had to tell me in going forward as a leader! Each time I make/made a decision good or bad I always remember what he would say to me........"Suck it up and keep trying LT you will be a great leader". Thank you SGM Albert for helping me be a better person and being an OUTSTANDING LEADER and an OUTSTANDING SOLDIER! To his family and friends GOD BLESS YOU! Thank you for letting me have an opportunity to write about a great person! Signing off in mourning of SGM Phillip R. Albert.

To those who knew him from the S-3/2 in 2-87th IN BN contact me at anytime. 254-833-1736."
Derrick T. Lyons, USA, Veteran (CPT) of Belcamp, MD, United States

"Hello, Phil. It's been 6 years since my last post. Boy, does time fly. Unreal how fast the last 11 years have passed. You'd be 52 now and I would have welcomed you into our sixth decade with your signature beer and a shot of Jack. In fact, I'm sitting here right now with a beer and shot of Jack in remembrance of you. So many things have passed I wish I could share with you. As close as to where you would've retired I live now I'm sure road trips would have been inevitable. I love you, Phil. Take care up there."
Phil knows who I am, of Formerly of Afghanistan

"I want to remember and honor you today, 23 Nov 2014. Though it has been 11 years, my family still remembers your kindness and your friendship. Your courage on this day in 2003 speaks volumes of what kind of a person you were. It is my privilege to have served with you. Thank you and God bless."
Victor M. Ulloa, 1SG Ret. of El Paso, TX

"Sgm Albert, aka Big Al! The real deal... Thanks sgm for the experiences.. see you again"
larry of missouri

"Today started out great, I found 1/17th Infantry sight on FB, first thing out of my mouth was wow, and as I read down through the different posts I came across one that brought tears to my eyes. SGM Albert at the time was my 1st Sgt and I was the HHC H Plt Sgt and had a great admiration for this man. Never one to yell but instead give advise and praise when deserved. America has truely lost a great man and in my eyes a Hero, if not to the country but to me. you are already missed by me and I have only known about your passing for a few short hours. It's hard to put in words what someone means to you unless you had the privlage to serve with him. It was never for him but with him. This I think was his strongest gift to any Unit that was lucky enough to have him. R.I.P. To the loved ones left with an empty feeling, have comfort in knowing that a person like SGM Albert will be waiting for you on the other side of life"
Chris Bispo of Pueblo West, Colorado

"SGM Albert was, and still is the epitome of dedication and greatness. I served under SGM Albert with the 2/87. I remember clearly the first time I met SGM Albert... Or should I say RAN with SGM Albert? I remember thinking, "Wow this guy is no joke." SGM Albert could run a camel to the point of dehydration! Those of you who have been on his runs, you know what I am talking about. Initially I did not understand SGM Albert. He just seemed to be this tough SGM that told you what needed to be done... The more time I spent around SGM Albert, I realized that he only desired to bring out the very best in each and every one of us; as people as well as soldiers. For those of us who had taken the time to understand SGM Albert, he became a father figure to us.... SGM Albert was always there to prepare us, and give guidance. He was and still remains a soldier's soldier. In fact, he was one of the very few people in such a respectable leadership role (SGT. MAJ.) to sit down and eat chow with us, just like "one of the guys." I remember the morning Kolo, a few other guys, SGM Albert and myself walked down to the chow hall in Bagram for some breakfast... We all sat and enjoyed each others company just hours before SGM Albert departed for Nangalam, Afghanistan. I should have been on one of the two flights that departed that day, but I had injured my eye during a previous mission. I remember wanting to leave out with SGM Albert, figuring that I would get my eye examined at a later time, but SGM Albert insisted that I stay back and get my eye examined. I feel we can say that SGM Albert saved many lives in his lifetime. Whether he was giving us advice, training that allowed us to survive a situation, or pulling us out of a burning MH-53 helicopter... SGM Albert saved many lives. Almost ten years later, I am still in disbelief. To me and many others, SGM Albert was one of those soldiers that seemed untouchable... I like to believe that this is still true, and that God just needed a very brave angel... SGM Albert, Thank you for teaching me that no task is too great, and no goal is too far. I truly miss you, and I feel comfort in knowing that when my time on this earth has come to an end, you will be there on the other side waiting to guide us again. I know that Scott, Cook,SSG Clemons and the rest of our Fallen Heroes are in good hands. I will see you again SGM Albert... But not yet... Not yet!"
Davis of New York, New York

"I forgot to leave my email address in the last message.

Anita Coyoli-Cullen of Garden Grove, CA, USA

"Can someone please tell me the names of the three persons who Sgt. Maj Albert has been credited for saving the lives of? I can't find them listed anywhere.

He saved my daughter, Sgt Diane Gilliam's, life and I would like to touch base with the other's he saved in the same crash.
Anita Coyoli-Cullen of Garden Grove, CA, USA

"Let us never forget those who gave all so we could continue to enjoy our way of life.
I want to recall a time in Alaska when SGM Albert who was known as 1SG Albert would always take his NCO's on his "Pepsi Challenge", he inspired us to do things we thought we couldn't and now he watches over us all to make sure we do. He always used to tell stories about Sniper school and the first Desert Storm War and the 5 Gallon water jug he had to use for gauging distance, those who new him have heard this story a million times and it never got old "Right", because he was the 1SG, "Right". He was a mentor and a great man he will be missed but never forgotten!"
John R. Smith III of Troy, Michigan

"I'm not sure what happen to my original message to the family but I'm here again eight years later. November 23, 2003 and every year since has been bitter sweet. That is the day my life changed forever. SGM Albert gave his life for mine, a true hero. He didn't know me before we boarded that aircraft. We spoke but a few words to each other. One of my strongest memories was getting a glimpse of him on the phone with family before we left for the tarmac. He said "I love you" to the person on the other end. It was sincere and it hit me in a way I can't explain. When we took flight he looked to me (sitting across the aircraft from me) and said "it is gonna get cold up there so put on your gloves and hat." Although I don't remember SGM Albert throwing himself onto me, others did witness his act as we hit the ground. It wasn't until two days in the hospital that I found his hand prints on my arm. These lasted two weeks until I finally made it home to receive accurate medical care. It was as if he stayed with me until I was safe again. I don't believe in a god and I don't believe in religion but I can say that a perfect stranger died saving my life. SGM Albert is my personal savior and hero. I thank him each day for allowing me the opportunity to live and have a second chance at life. SGM Albert, you did not die in vain. Thank you for the gift of life."
Diane Leilani Gilliam (nielewahine@aol.com) of Sierra Vista, AZ (Hometown is Huntington Beach, CA)

"Phil, I am back in Afghanistan on the 8th anniversary of your appointment with God. It's a chilly,overcast day, not the warm, sunny day it was on 23 November 2003. You were my righthand man for so many years, and while I've met many great men since, I now fly alone. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you, and how that feeling of loneliness never leaves, no matter how many people surround me. You touched so many people, evident with all the posts on this memorial. We carried each other for years, and I escorted you down Disney Drive, the chaplain leading you, the limping gait of man himself broken physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Every 23 November that I am on Bagram I look east into the valley into which you flew that fateful day. We honor you and revere you, Phil, but we can hear you in our mind's ear telling us not to snivel, get on with life, there is important work to do. Times when I'm alone drinking a beer and smoking a cigar someone will ask me "what are you doing?" I reply, "just talking with my friends." If Heaven has a VFW save me a seat at the bar, I'll see you at my appointed time. Happy Anniversary, Phil. I love you as only a Soldier can understand the love that exists in a band of brothers."
Phil knows who I am of Afghanistan

"i am so sorry.du warst mein held.ich werde dich immer lieben.inka"
inka of berlin

"To the family of:Phillip R. Albert
I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015.
Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga""

"To the memory of SGM Albert and to his family. In 1987, Drill Sergeant Albert was my Drill Sergeant in B/10/2, Harmony Church, Fort Benning GA. He was fair but tough. One story I'll always remember was when he woke up the platoon in the middle of the night and told us that something terrible had happened overseas. He let us hang there and told us "the balloon has gone up. They killed the hostages in Lebanon". I considered myself a smart guy with lots of college under my belt already but I was questioning this announcement somehow. I didn't even KNOW they had hostages in Lebanon. I thought that was back in 1983 or so. Drill SGT Albert continued on, "they're sending you in first, because you are the freshest trained." It all made perfect sense. We were sent back to bed and when we awake, there was no more mention of the hostages again. Then on Sunday, I bought a newspaper because the Drill SGTs allowed us to. There was no mention of any hostages or Lebanon. It was all a ruse on his part to send us a message. Looking back, I find this to be so hilarious. I ran into him again when I attended Sniper school in the 90's and he had become a well-respected Sniper Instructor. Shaking his hand at graduation meant alot to me. Years later while deployed to AFG, a bird went down 10 km from BAF in a river bed. We sent people to the site to secure it and I was back in BAF as his casket was driven down Disney drive to the flight line to come home. I was shocked as I pieced it together that my Drill SGT had just been killed. Hit me pretty hard. Again years later I noticed that one of the camps at BAF was named after him, Camp Albert. Rest in Peace SGM Albert. The balloon just went up..."
Ken Odegard of Fayetteville

"I was was waiting for SGM Albert on the LZ in Nangalam. The bird was late and then we got the word it wasn't coming, no big deal flights are weathered out all the time. Latter that day we found out it wasn't the weather the bird had gone down. In the field you never realy get all the details, but I latter found out quite a few details of what happened that day. From the accounts soldiers and airmen such as Sgt. Diane Gilliam are alive because of SGM Albert. I believe I read a latter article about Sgt. Gilliam and the crash and was stopped in my tracks a few years later with a news account of the crash.

I few things that were related to me from surviors from the 10th Mountain.

1. SGM Albert was apparently hit in the chest with a generator during the crash. The surviours believed it broke his sturnum.

2. SGM Albert made repeated trips into the A/C retriving the injured, dispite the A/C being in flames.

3. He cut at least one crew chief free and carried him out.

4. SGM Albert perished when he returned again to the burning A/C to attempt and recover another airman that was tangled up in the A/C. The fuel exploded ending his efforts.

For this he recieved a Bronze Star..... SGM Albert was a true pro, I wish that I had served under him longer and more directly. I'm still angry and miss him six years later.

Robert Clements, 1SG USA Ret. of Castorland, NY

"Hello to Army Sgt. Maj. Phillip R. Albert's family. My name is Anita Coyoli-Cullen, I am the mother of Sgt. Diane Gilliam, who was one of the survivors of the crash that killed Army Sgt. Maj. Phillip R. Albert. Army Sgt. Maj. Phillip R. Albert saved my daughter's life that day by holding her in place during the crash. She carried his hand prints on her forearms for two weeks after the crash. It was her commrades who saw Army Sgt. Maj. Phillip R. Albert holding my daughter. He is a true hero. Please call me any time you would like to talk about the crash or our families.
714 846 9017

Anita Coyoli-Cullen of Huntington Beach, CA, USA

"I apologize for unintentionally omitting my e-mail address in the previous message. It is purserstephanie@yahoo.com"
Stephanie Purser of East Central Alabama

"To the family of SGM Albert: My name is Stephanie Purser, wife of SSG John Purser, who was also on board the aircraft with SGM Albert. I posted a message on here a few years ago and received kind messages from some of the family members of the fallen. It's hard to believe that almost 6 years have gone by since the crash and that event is still surrounded by so much mystery for me. In late August 2008, I finally managed to visit their grave markers at Arlington National Cemetery to pay my respects. I realize that these lists of fallen heroes have not been updated since 2 November 2006 but I decided to post a more recent message to let the family members know that I still think about those 5 men every single day."
Stephanie Purser of East Central Alabama

"Phillip was my First Sergeant in Alaska. He served his nation honorably and I have fond memories of our time there together. What is very ironic is that on the very same day Phil passed in Afghanistan another great NCO from Alaska CSM Jerry Wilson was KIA in Iraq. My new job consists of convincing Estonian Defense Forces of the value added that professional Non-Commissioned Officers would bring to their table. It is the memories of men like SGM Albert and CSM Wilson and their ultimate sacrifice that says it all. Rest In Peace SGM Albert and CSM Wilson."
LTC Robert Williams of Tallinn, Estonia

"Uncle Phillip, I just can't believe that it has been 5 years since your passing. Your family is still lost without you and we are still grieving. We are trying to honor your memory and share our memories of you with the new additions to our family, the ones that never got to meet you or were to young to remember you. It is so hard though because we are still filled with so much sadness. My Bryant, who is now 9, loves to hear the story of when you came home for a visit & he was only a crawling baby. Bryant would crawl dragging his belly on the ground, pulling himself around with his elbows. We were at a "Coffee / Donut" one Sunday morning & I said to you "look Uncle Phillip, he is doing the Army crawl" you laughed & replied "Nope, he's gotta get lower!" The entire room filled w/ our family laughed, but your laugh was the loudest. Bryant sleeps with your picture at his bedside and talks about you often with my dad, your brother. We all miss you and love you. Please give Pepere my love, I know you are together, which gives us comfort. Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice in making our world a safer place. We love you!"
Stacy (Albert) Mosback, niece of Bristol, CT USA

"I was the Ranger LNO RTO assigned to Bco 2/87 during this Operation and had the pleasure of working with both SGM Albert and LTC Paschal, they were an excellent team. I had the unfortunate duty of informing LTC Paschal of the crash...as I recall it was also Thanksgiving and alot of brass had come out to see the Army's two best Light Infantry organizations at work....I never saw a leader take a loss, personaly as hard as LTC Paschal but when it came time to notify his men he was as stoic and graceful as a leader should be with such bad news...It was an honor to have served with such men as SGM Albert...Lest We Forget"
Michael (HHC/ACO 175 RGR 2003-2006 of Fredericksburg VA

"My deepest heart felt sympathy to the family and friends of Phillip. I served with Phillip at Fort Irwin, Ca. when we were Assigned to the OPFOR. He was a great NCO and a friend. I have recently started a profile page in his honor at "Together We serve", Any one with information as to Phillip's assignment and duty stations or pictures can contact me on my profile page. I would be honored to submit any photos on his behalf."
Larry Cicale of Richton Park, Illinios

"I am in total shock!! I went to Southington High with Phil (live in FL now) and just today (7/08) looked him up and saw the news. I am truly devastated, but honored to have known such a wonderful kind-hearted man. He was truly my support and great friend during hard times in high school. He was and still is my hero."
Johanne (Richard) Richmond of Palm City, FL

"Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free.
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard Him call.
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay that day,
to laugh, to love, to work or play.
Task undone must stay that way.
I found peace at the close of the day.
If my parting left a void,
then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
Ah, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with time of sorrow.
I wish for you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I savored much
Good friends, good times, a loved one touched.
Perhaps my time seemed all to brief,
but don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and share with me.
God wanted me now, He set me free!"
(Author Unknown)
America has been built on the blood of Brave Men of Honor. Heros who answered the call to defend all of our Freedoms. A fellow Veteran pays tribute to this heros commitment to duty and the ultimate sacrifice that he has made for all of us.... Thank you. May you rest well in Gods loving embrace Brave soldier, and may peace come to your family and loved ones for the sacrifice they have also made."
William D. Taylor of Bonita Springs, Florida

"November 26, 2007
To the family of Sgt. Maj. Phillip R. Albert:
Phillip gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"SGM Albert was my 1SG at Ft. Wainwright Ak. He taught me how to be a great soldier and NCO. Most importantly he taught me how to be a man. I will never forget you. Rest in Peace."
SGT K. Hung

"I guess its up to me Al....to let the cat out of the bag.....lol.....Al was my big brother sniper...yes, I set records, but i was always learning from him.....and I guess he was learning from me.....Katya....sound familiar AL?....anyways....he was the master at Long Range TA, and he past this along to me...and I used it...the best award I recieved was because of him.....upon return fron the desert....1000+ meters "shot in the dark" as he called it.....engaging the enemy with the ultimate in precision gunfire from long distamce! SPC Miramontez Distinguished Himself and the Unit........

Thanks Al!!!!!"
MD Miramontez of Hawaii

"....a quote from my Best Friend....train 'em hard like you do yourself...they become you; or fall short...but you are still there to pick them up and mentor them to be the SNIPER you want them to be...."
MDM of Hawaii

"Authored by: anonymous on Sunday, May 27 2007 @ 12:27 AM EDT
My name is Mario, and I was a Sniper under SGM Albert (then SFC), He was my senior instructor when I went through the course, and later my section sergeant (He always remembered me because I set records at the Sniper School)....HE was my best friend and big brother!....I did not know of his death until I deployed to Afghanistan in 2004 and seen his name on a wall in Baghram Airfield....I am at a great loss without him.....I miss you AL!!!!!!!!!! And....I ALLWAYS WILL...MORE THAN ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!

I will never forget the quote " I am not afraid to Die Sergeant Major! Next Question!"......You have always been my mentor Al ....thanks....wish I could say that to you personally.....but to his family....thank you.....!!!!

SFC (P) MD Miramontez"
SFC Mario Miramontez of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

"Authored by: anonymous on Sunday, May 27 2007 @ 12:27 AM EDT
My name is Mario, and I was a Sniper under SGM Albert (then SFC), He was my senior instructor when I went through the course, and later my section sergeant (He always remembered me because I set records at the Sniper School)....HE was my best friend and big brother!....I did not know of his death until I deployed to Afghanistan in 2004 and seen his name on a wall in Baghram Airfield....I am at a great loss without him.....I miss you AL!!!!!!!!!! And....I ALLWAYS WILL...MORE THAN ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!

SFC (P) MD Miramontez"
SFC Mario Miramontez of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

"Sir, I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.""
Ramon L.Jackson of Jackson Mississippi/ U.S.A

"I had the honor of working with Sgt. Major Albert at 2/87 Infantry at Fort Drum, New York, and was in Afghanistan with him. He was a true leader, and he is missed."
Richard Baez of Fort Drum, New York

"Today I recieved a U.S. Flag that was flown in the "Field of Honor" at Sturgis, S.D. with the name Of Sgt Major Phillip R. Albert, U.S. Army. I will fly this flag myself in honor of this hero who paid the ultimate price for my freedom. GOD bless the USA. .... Ross Neely, Usn-Ret. V.V.A., V.F.W., PGR, and Rolling Thunder member."
Ross Neely of Ponca City, Oklahoma.

"Thank SGM Albert. I served with SGM Albert right before the Bn went to Enduring freedom. SGM Albert had helped me through some hard times. When my company had given up on for being a "broken NCO" and sent me to the mailroom, SGM Albert never once talked down to me because I was broken. He always treated me like an NCO and a human no matter what. I have since stayed in the Army, been promoted and had the operation to fix me. I still bring out SGM's PT plan once in a while and use it to break down some new Joes(if you were in a shop in 2-87 you know what I mean).
Thank you.
SSG Esquivel of Fort Riley, KS

"Thank SGM Albert. I served with SGM Albert right before the Bn went to Enduring freedom. SGM Albert had helped me through some hard times. When my company had given up on for being as a "broken NCO" and sent me to the mailroom, SGM Albert never once talked down to me because I was broken. He always treated me like an NCO and a human no matter what. I have since stayed in the Army, been promoted and had the operation to fix me. I still bring out SGM's PT plan once in a while and use it to break down some new Joes(if you were in a shop in 2-87 you know what I mean).
Thank you.
SSG Esquivel of Fort Riley, KS

"To the family of SGM Phillip R. Albert, I wish to express my sincere condolences for the loss of your son; my friend. Albert and I served together as Equal Opportunity Advisors at FT Bragg and became good friends. I can relate to the other messages describing his kindness and giving personality. Albert, you shared that kindness with all my family and for that I will never forget you. I proudly display a flag with your name on in front of my home. Thank you for being my friend. God bless you."
Victor M. Ulloa, MSG (Ret) of Fayetteville, NC

"You are remembered and honored this Memorial Day, 2006. We will never forget."
Bela Beaupre of Woodbury, CT

"I still remember when my unclie philip came home on leave, we would have big parties on my aunts lake house just for him. He would tell stories to me and my siblings and cousins. The night i founds out what happened when i walked in the door, my mom was crying on the couch. And at that moment when she told me i remembered all the times we had together from him telling us his stories to going ice fishing with him R.I.P. uncle phil"
Brandon Hayes of bristol, CT USA

""Memorial Day" 2006
Proud Army mom of:
Pfc. Adam L. Thomas
1-87 Ft. Drum
KIA: 8-31-03 Afghanistan"
Ellen Thomas of Burbank, IL

"Sergeant Major Albert worked closely with my father, both when my dad was the S-3 and XO of 2-87 IN. I even have an Army Poster that he gave to me for my fifteenth birthday that still hangs up on my bedroom wall. It hit the entire 2-87 community when word was received that Sergeant Major Albert had passed in the crash, and my mother was among those who proceeded to Connecticut for his funeral. Now, as two years have passed since this tragedy, I look upon Sergeant Major Albert in the highest regard, for he made the ultimate sacrifice for his nation. To his family and friends, he was a great soldier. From what my father has told me, he was an excellent NCO, and he is still missed by those who served with him."
Cadet Robert Rasmussen, Tiger Battalion, Army ROTC of Geneseo, NY

"I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family of CSM Phillip Albert. CSM Albert was my Drill Sergeant at Fort Benning, GA back in 1987 with the 2/58 Infantry. We won the Platoon of the Cycle honors. I had three Drill Sergeants assigned to the platoon but he was with us the most. He trained us, disciplined us, and developed us into soldiers. He was one that I will never forget. In 1998 I ran into him again when I was assigned to 1/17 Infantry at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. I was surprised to see him again after so many years. He was the First Sergeant of HHC 1/17 INF. He remembered me from the basic training days because of an incident that happened with me. We regularly talked about those good old days. It was good to see that he had progressed as he deserved as a First Sergeant. I was not in his company but his soldiers really looked up to him and appreciated all that he did for them. He was a good trainer and leader. He taught an advanced marksmanship class that I went through while I was there. It was a good experience and I learned an enormous amount of information. I remember when First Sergeant Albert moved to Fort Carson, Colorado and shortly after that he was promoted to Sergeant Major. My heart sank when I read the Army Times to discover that he had passed. Today, I was looking at my Basic training picture that he is in. I decided that I wanted to get on line and find out what happened to this fallen soldier. CSM Phillip Albert, I will never forget you. You were the foundation for the soldier that I am and just that of thousands of other soldiers. I will scan and e-mail this basic training picture with Drill Sergeant Albert in it, with our platoon, dated November 24th 1987 to anyone that wants it just e-mail me at gerald.powless@us.army.mil"
SFC Powless of 5th Ranger Training BN, Dahlonega, GA

"I'll never forget at JRTC when you told a group of us that "Hard times don't last, Hard people do". I have carried that motto in myself ever since and it has always held truth."
Matt Kensy of North Branch Minnesota

"to the family of 'big al', i wanted to meet you when you came to drum for the memorial, but got stuck finishing up some work. a friend told me that he and his brother look exactly alike, in some way im glad i didnt go because i may not have been able to keep my composure. what i wanted to tell you is that i am a better man, person, and soldier because of him. i can tell you the guys he worked with didnt always agree with his intentions or methods, but for better or worse he was always there for every one of us when we needed him. he was never fake or pretentious to any of us, especially me. he'd always tell it just how it was. i remember him pulling us all together a couple of weeks before we left for afghanistan, he told us to keep in mind all that he taught us, step up and take charge if needed, and not be afraid if the worst happened. he told us that if we were ever in a situation where one of us were pinned down from enemy fire and couldnt get away, not to be afraid cause he'd stay with us, he'd always be there. i feel like i let him down so many times, he tried to teach me so much. i wish i had been with him that night, i would have stayed with him, i would have saved his life or died trying. i am so sorry for your loss. his memory will always be with me, god bless you for giving me the opportunity to have had someone like 'big al' effect my life in the possitive way he did."
spc jonathan m nagel of fort drum

"Sgt. Major Albert,
I would like to say thank you to you and the other men who were in killed in the '53 crash with you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

"We Conquer Power And Mountains"
(87th Inf. Motto)"

"I only know the Sergeant Major thru my son, SSG R. Myers III. I know the impact of this loss on my son. The Sergeant Major was known by the Cadets of the CSM Henery Chiasson's Army JROTC Gator Battalion at Captain Shreve Highschool in Shreveport, LA. I commanded that unit at the time of his death. His name, picture, memory and actions were and are honored there. May God Bless the Sergeant Major's family and loved ones. He IS an American Hero, HOOAH!"
Robert L. Myers II, Major AUS, (Retired) of Saint Charles, Missouri


"I worked with SGM. Albert in the s-3 shop while in Afganistan. He was a damn good leader and although he was hard you knew he would take care of you. I use to call him papa Al to the other guys in the S-3 shop because of all the stories he told us or some of the jokes, and he'd get me back by making fun of the way i talked. If every NCO lived up to his standards and professional quailities we would be flawless God bless you SGM. for sacrifice and for making us all better soldiers. To his family it was a Honor to serve with him and my privelege to know god bless you as well."
Sgt Paul Adam Purser of Ft. Polk La, USA

"I m glad my friend Eddie Lee Isom he is back from Irq and I hope my friend Vince, Herbert and Rick coming back home from this bad place.
I support the us troops in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Monika Chrístine Mai of Düsseldorf, Germany

"We are free and safe this July 4th, 2005 because of the men and women who love and defend the United States of America. Thank you Phillip. You paid the ultimate sacrafice to make this world a better place. You will forever be remembered. To your family and friends, I pray that they have found peace, comfort, and strength in God's love. Let them understand that our love never dies. It lives in our hearts forever."
Bela of Woodbury, CT


"To the loved ones of Sergeant Major Albert-My name is Stephanie Purser, wife of Army Ranger SSG Johnathan Purser. John was also on board the same helicopter. He barely survived and was cut free from his harness at the last minute by a Specialist also from 10th Mountain. He received 3rd degree burns on his face and upper body and does not remember most of the crash. I did not know Sergeant Major Albert but I wanted you to know that every single day I pause to reflect on his life and the lives of the four airmen who died that day."
Stephanie Purser of FT Benning, GA purserstephanie@yahoo.com

"To Phillip's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our son returned safely from Afghanistan, only to lose his life in Iraq. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your soldier's bravery and sacrifice. He is truly a Hero, now guarding the Gates in Heaven!


The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (The Big Ern's Mom) of San Antonio, TX

"SGM Albert was a great mentor. Even though I am in the Air Force. He treated me and my Airmen fairly and was always willing to pass on his knowledge, experience and many great stories. In return I would often go down the the bazaar to pass on my gem knowledge to help him and others get real stones.

He kept a great amount of common sense in everything he did and would pass on reality versus 'doctrine' that others often quoted.

I remember talking about 'stand to'. I said I'm air force, we do 'sleep to'. As in sleep till 8. He laughed and said in his twenty odd years no one has ever attacked at dawn or dusk. But he followed his orders and got everyone up.

Not everyone liked him, but EVRYONE respected him and thats all you can ask for as a leader."
Alan Lesko, SSgt USAF of Ft Drum, NY

"thank you for allowing me to still attend classes while on extra duty"
spc. ramirez, anthony of bakersfield, ca usa

"To the family and freinds of philip Albert... please know that I am just one more of the many many americans who understands the sacrifice that Phillip Albert has made for his country and for that matter the entire world... may he rest in peace..."
john duyck of wainscott N.Y.

"un poeta italiano famoso ha scritto una poesia con due sole parole: "m'illumino d'immenso".
Questo è ciò che provo quando penso a te e ai tuoi colleghi morti per la libertà e la democrazia di un altro popolo. Grazie"
Mauro Branchesi of Italy

"Thank you SGM for never giving up on me. You helped me through some of the hardest times in my life. My sincerest condolensces to the family. You were like a father to me (to us all in S-3)
You will be missed... never forgotten!"
Ranger McMillan of Anchorage, AK

"To the family and friends,

Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for your loved ones bravery and sacrifice. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. Your loved one is a hero. Greater love have no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13.

God bless you.

Home Front Ministries
Shepherd of the Hills Church
Porter Ranch, CA"

"Thanks for stepping forward when America needed you. To the family - Thank you for your contribution to our liberty and freedom. I'm sorry for your tremendous loss."
Ronald Carlson of Montrose, MN

"It's almost a year and I can still hear your laugh. I've never been so proud or so sad. You were loved. You are missed."

"rest in peace soldier"
labinot of sweden

"God Bless you and your family - you will never be forgotten."
Chris of Windham, NH

"Sergeant Major Albert, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas


"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God provide your family with comfort in their time of sorrow. May you forever rest in Heavenly peace. Neither you nor your sacrifice will be forgotten."
a grateful citizen in arizona

"It was my priviledge and honor to have known SGM Albert (Big Al) while we both attended the Sergeants Major Crs (Class 52). In addition to being a great Infantryman, he was a gracious human being, possessed a keen wit, and was a scholar to boot...he totally carried our group on one of those endless writing assignments at the school. God Bless you Al!"
SGM Motoyama of S. Korea

"Phillip was one of the most honorable friends I have ever known. I had the privlage of serving under him while I was in the Army. We were both assigned to the 1st BN 17th Infantry, FT Wainwright, AK. He taught me so much about life and how to be a good infantryman. We spent alot of time together as freinds. I will always remember his positive outlook and how he always made me feel at home in his company. I will miss him. He gave so much and asked for so little. God Bless"
Matthew Roche of Uniontown, PA

"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God grant your family comfort and peace in their time of need and sorrow. May you rest forever in heavenly peace."
a grateful citizen in arizona

"God's blessings to you and your family Phillip. My tears of sorrow fall for each of our soldiers who have died fighting for our freedom. You will always be remembered"
Candy Knutson of Poynette, WI

"i will always remember out at Nangalam, when you stuck up for me to chuck."
mike of ft drum ny

"I want to express my sorrow to your family and offer my thanks for your service and sacrifice to our country."
F. Smith of West Grove,Pa

"To the family of Phillip Albert: I am so sorry for your loss. Phillip is and always will be a hero. God Bless."
Jessica of Rio Vista,CA

"Phillip R. Albert was a rare find. He was one of those people who could motivate his troops when others would quit trying.He not only made us better soldiers but also made us better people. He was a wealth of knowledge. A real infantrymans infantryman. You felt safe with him in command. Al was a great friend and listener. The nation has lost one of its finest partriots. My deepest condolences to all of his family during this time of lose. Its hard for Infantryman to say this about each other, but I can honestly say that this man was loved by his troops. Miss you Big Al."
Kermit F. Purvis of West End,NC/Moore

"sgm albert,
i had the priviledge to serve with you in the most dire of conditions and the most peaceful, you taught me so much. i remember the last time i saw you before the accident when we ate lunch in the dfac in bagram and you just told me to keep my head down and dont be stupid and keep aware of my surroundings and i'll come home safe. after all the time ive been in the army i never got as much lessons on life and soldiering taught by one person. i hope i can pass on all the things you taught me to my soldiers. keep watching over me , i know you have been. i miss you big al."
tommy u.s army of ft drum, ny

"Dear Phillip:

I realize you do not know me personally, but I am with you spiritually. You are a true hero in the eyes of all Americans. I want you to know that all your efforts were not in vain. I appreciate the ultimate sacrifice you paid so that all of us can live in a free and safe society.

The ultimate sacrifice in life is to take action and protect those whom you love. You were there in Iraq because you love this great country and your fellow citizens. You were willing to place yourself in harms way in order to protect the sovereignty of our country. In the eyes of God you have given the greatest gift of all for your friends and loveones; you gave your life. I just wanted you to know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers each and everyday. Thank you for giving me the greatest gift in life which is the gift of freedom.
To the family of Phillip R. Albert please except my sincere condolences on the loss of your son. If there is anything I can do please let me know.


Carol Annino
Newington, CT 06111"
carol annino of Newington, CT/US

"SGM Albert was my Boss for 15 months here at Fort Carson. We did a hell of alot of roadmarches and PT Runs together in that time. We had 6 civilians in our office and we were the only 2 military. We didn't see eye-to-eye on alot of stuff, but it wasn't about likes or dislikes with SGM Albert, it was about Duty and Honor. He was and forever will be a Professional Soldier, a true combat Vet and a Real NCO. He set the Stardards above and beyond the normal requirements. SGM Albert was a True Infantryman and it was a Honor to serve with him."
Paul I. Batchelor (US Army Retired) of Colorado Springs, Colorado

"My Heart goes out to the Albert family. Phillip and I have been good friends for about 10 years. His spirit and courage to live life and to always strive to do good are the memories that I have of this great man. Phillip, is one of those rare jewels, a man always willing to champion the less fortunate and step to the plate. I will miss you my friend. From one warrior to another, you will be in my heart and memories. You taught me to be patient and to always look to the good side of people and situations. I will never forget this. May God watch over your family."
SFC (Ret) Bill Morales of Ft Totten, Queens NY

"You will not be forgotten. Even though I did not know you, I thank you and your family for the greatest sacrifice every made by an American."
Pat Walters of Cross Plains, Wi

"Dear Phillip:

I realize you do not know me personally, but I am with you spiritually. You are a true hero in my eyes and to all Americans. I want you to know that all your efforts were not in vain. I appreciate the ultimate sacrifice you paid so that all of us can live in a free and safe society.

The ultimate sacrifice in life is to take action and protect those whom you love. You were there in Iraq because you love this great country and your fellow citizens. Your desire to serve as a soldier and to place yourself in harms way in order to protect the sovereignty of our country will never be forgotten. In the eyes of God you have given the greatest gift of all for your friends and loved-ones; you gave your life. I just wanted you to know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers each and everyday. Thank you for giving all of us the greatest gift of life, which is the gift of freedom.
To the family of Phillip R. Albert please except my sincere condolences on the loss of your son. If there is anything I can do please let me know.


Carol Annino
Newington, CT 06111"
Carol Annino of Newington CT, 06111

"SGM Phillip (Al) Albert, your leadership and insight will be sorely missed from this world and from the Army. From all of us in Class 52 and especially from M12 - YOU WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN."
SGM Patti Sparenberg of Ft Myer, VA

"My kids are safer thanks to this brave soldier. How can you thank someone who gives his life for your own family's safety? There are not enough words for me to express how thankful I am for him.

May God grant his family peace during this time when this hero is welcomed into heaven."
The Estes Family of Phoenix, AZ

"SGM Albert was a soldiers soldier. He always gave of himself so others would not have to go without. Al was all about taking care of soldiers and this great nation. His selfless service speaks for itself as he made the ultimate sacrifice for us and his nation. God Bless you Al and I know you'll be looking down and doing all you can to take care of those in danger. It was my privlege SGM this old retiree thanks you!"
Ed Lemanski of Fayetteville, NC

"may god be with you and your family through the hard times but may the memories remain"
rhonda of centralia,il usa

"I knew Phillip when he was stationed at Ft. Bragg. He was a great person and a great soldier. I learned alot from him. God Bless SGM Albert. He truly was a great American."
MSG Rice of Ft. Bliss, Tx

"Even though I never met Albert and the family I am really sorry for your loss.My dad was on the same crash."They will not be forgotten"."
Kalie Walters of Hurlburt ,Florida

"Thank you Phillip Albert, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"I wish the price for freedom wasn't so high. The life you lived will never be lost to those who will always remember the dedication and love you had for god and country."
James of San Diego, Ca

"I am indebted to you Phillip and all others who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. You will never be forgotten by me. I love you and I love your family. I wish there was something I could do or say to assuage the grief your family must be feeling. All I can do, and I hope it helps, is pray every day for you, your family, all other soldiers and there families. May the Peace and Love of Christ be with you and your family always.
P.S. To the family of Phillip R. Albert if you need someone to pray with, or to talk to or anything else please email me at ctpoet1@yahoo.com"
Chris Decker of East Windsor CT USA

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Major Phillip Albert:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Phillip for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Sgt. Major Phillip Albert:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Phillip, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on