Touched by the bravery of a decorated solider killed in action, a Brazil humanitarian is preserving the deceased's memory in song.
United States Air Force Bomb Technician Tsgt. Phillip Myers, was killed in Southern Afghanistan in April this year. Prior to his death, Tsgt. Myers was awarded the Bronze Star in March 2008 for his work defusing bombs in Iraq.
To honor the fallen soldier, Gerald Flint, director of Volunteer Medics Worldwide (VMW), in Brazil, shared his affection through song. Flint was in Afghanistan when Myers was killed and said, "there was nothing we could have done to save him."
The end result is a track entitled, "Hero Before He Died." As the title may suggest, the song focuses on touting military men and women as heroes during their lives, so as to properly celebrate their actions while they are still with us.
"Tsgt. Myers was very highly decorated long before he died," Flint said. "He was a hero to his wife Aimee, his daughter and his son."
Flint came up with the melody while returning from another mission to Afghanistan, this one dedicated to Myers' memory, at the end of May. When he returned to America, Flint recorded the song in a Summitville, Ind. studio with Jared Powell. It was recorded with "100 percent approval" from Myers' family.
The song, whose vocal and musical style could draw comparisons to Kenny Rogers, has been released along with an accompanying video, which gained airplay on CNN and can be found on YouTube.
"Hero" has also made a splash at music festivals, such as the "God and Country Show" in Greenup, Ill., where Flint performed the song alongside singer Marty Haggard, son of country legend Merle Haggard.
Flint is currently working on an expanded version of the song and hoping to make a professional video to accompany it. He said all proceeds are going toward the continuation of VMW missions in this state, as well as all over the country and abroad.
Flint said he began VMW from the former desk of Saddam Hussein days after the Iraqi army was forcefully ejected from Kuwait in March of 1991. He said he prides himself on making the organization go on 100 percent volunteer labor.
"In more than 18 years we have never paid anyone a paycheck to volunteer their time and service," Flint said. "We plan never to do so in the future."
Flint, who has written more than 40 songs as a solo artist and as a member of the band Natural Unrehearsed Creativity, said "Hero Before He Died" was the most important musical composition he has ever written. He was honored to combine his passion of music and humanitarianism and was thrilled to honor the memory of someone he had great admiration for.
"I was honored and blessed to write and perform 'Hero Before He Died' in memory of Tsgt. Phillip A. Myers," Flint said. "If I have done nothing more than bring honor to his name, the USAF EOD team, his family and the United States of America, then it was worth it."
To see the video in its current form, enter "Hero Before He Died Video 29 June 2009" into a YouTube search. For more information on VMW, visit them online at www.volunteermedics.org.