Philip Hecker was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He spent his early years in Cleveland, graduating from high school in 1964. Because jobs were hard to come by, Phil enlisted in the Army. At that time enlistments were for three years. Phil was assigned to the 1st Cavalry and after basic and advanced training he was sent to Vietnam and assigned to Headquarters of the 1st Cavalry.
Although there were incidents where the enemy tried to sabotage the base, they were stopped before they had a chance. He said that all of the so called suicide bombers were business men in the area, which indicated that they were fairly well educated. At the time Phil was in Vietnam the government was offering early discharges, of which Phil took advantage.
He was married while in the Service. Returning to Cleveland was difficult and finding a job was not easy. He has worked as a mechanic and when his three boys were young the family moved to Denver. He was having problems with his marriage and although it became better, they did eventually divorce.
He met his second wife when his was managing a bowling alley as a second job. They married and eventually moved to Michigan because his wife was offered a job at the University of Michigan. Phil also got a job at the University in maintenance. He injured his back on the job and was retired.
Phil and his wife have one daughter who now lives Grand Rapids, Michigan. Since Phil and his wife are both retired they decided to move to Grandville to be closer to the family which now includes 16 grandchildren. Phil still comes to the Ann Arbor Veterans Hospital for his physical problems. He is a victim of Agent Orange, in addition to being diabetic. Since retiring, Philip has been very active in Veterans Organizations. He served two years as the Commander of the local Vietnam group.