Capt. Philip J. Dykeman, who graduated in 1988 from Paul V. Moore High School in 1988, was among more than 20 people to be killed in a suicide bomb attack in Anbar Province. He lived in Brockport, New York and was based in Hawaii.
News reports indicate the attack happened on Thursday, June 26, at a meeting among military officials and local religious and political leaders opposed to the presence of the al Qaida in Iraq organization. A man wearing a police uniform blew up a belt full of explosives. Capt. Dykeman was among three U.S. troops to die in the attack.
Capt. Dykeman was commanding officer of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. His commanding officer, the Lt. Col. in charge of 2nd Battalion, was also killed.
Capt. Dykeman appeared in one story produced by the military’s public relations staff, a piece datelined Karma, Iraq and filed on April 28, 2008. The story, titled, “Marines open up ‘Road to Peace'”, visited a celebration to mark the reopening of a road that had been closed, Dykeman said, to protect the Marines working there from attacks.
“The Iraqis were very happy that the road is open,” he said in the story. “There was music and dancing. The first vehicle through the road was an Iraqi Police vehicle, which is symbolic since they are instrumental in the security.”
A story about the three deaths in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin today quoted Marines from the unit who said that the deaths of top field commanders was very unusual, and that great gains had been made in making the Anbar area more secure.