Sgt. Philip Vernon Bergstrom served in the U.S. Army since age 17. and was an Apache helicopter navigator, stationed in Wiesbaden. Germany. He was on his way home to his family in Forest Lake, Minnesota, on emergency leave to be near his father who was scheduled for surgery in early January.
Proud of being a soldier, he had earned the nickname "Smiley" while in the service. "When the sergeants told him to go down and give 'em fifty, he went down smiling and came up smiling," recalls his mother, Audrey. Known as a youth for being reliable and hard working, Philip's death left a large void in this small but close knit family. Besides his parents, Philip and Audrey, Philip leaves a sister, Pennie Darwin: a nephew; and his maternal grandparents. Philip was a dutiful son who wrote home three times a week. He had hoped to become a helicopter pilot and, later, to complete a college degree and become a minister of his church.
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