DES PLAINES, Ill. - Lance Cpl. Phillip E. Frank, 20, died April 8, 2004, while on duty in Iraq. He had been working in the HVAC trade before joining the Marines in January 2003. Lance Cpl. Frank was a member of

the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. He was killed by hostile fire near the Iraqi cities of Fallujah and Ramadi.

According to HVAC teacher Guy Letrick at the Monmouth County Vocational School Freehold, Freehold, N.J., "Phil grew up in Cliffwood Beach, N.J., an outgoing, happy-spirited, energetic young man who was loved by all. He came into the Freehold HVAC class in September 2000. He was enthusiastic and a pleasure to have in class." That summer he worked for an air conditioning and heating contractor.

"He came back that fall, and when September 11th happened, the whole class was upset, but Phil said he was going to join the Marines when he had the chance," Letrick recounted.

"Phil did very well the second year; he took the EPA exam and passed (Universal); he also passed the ICE exam. I awarded Phil the Freehold Noon Time Optimist Club Award. He was a very respectful and polite young man with a great personality."

Lance Cpl. Frank was buried in Des Plaines on April 17. He and his 19-year-old wife, Keri Frank, had made their home in Elk Grove Village, Ill. "He wanted to be there [in Iraq] to help," said Keri Frank. The couple had been married less than a year.

"He truly touched my life and he will be deeply missed," said Letrick. He announced that Monmouth County Vocational School Freehold will have a scholarship in Lance Cpl. Frank's name. For more information on the scholarship, contact Letrick at Monmouth County Vocational School, 21 Robertsville Rd., Freehold, N.J. 07728; 732-462-7570.

Publication date: 05/24/2004