The Phillip B. Hatcher Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in memory of Phillip Brian Hatcher by his sister, Kara Hatcher Hawkins.
Phillip Hatcher was born on November 16, 1980. He joined the Army on March 29, 2001 and served with the 101st Airborne Division. He served in Afghanistan from March 6, 2002 through August 15, 2002. He was deployed to Iraq from February 28, 2003 through January 8, 2004. He received a number of medals, including two Army Commendation Medals, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, an Army Service Ribbon, and three Overseas Service Bars. He received his General discharge on July 8, 2004 as Private Hatcher.
Phillip began to show symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder during his second deployment and experienced flashbacks and suicidal thoughts when he came home. Shortly after Memorial Day, 2008, he took his own life. “He had tried medications and therapy too,” Kara said. “But, he found it impossible to talk to people who didn’t know what he went through. He felt he couldn’t burden them with what he had endured in war.”
Kara said, “I want the person who receives a Hatcher Scholarship to know how loving, funny, and full of life Phillip was. I want the veteran to know that Phillip loved his country and was proud to serve and even reenlisted while in Iraq for another four years. Phillip had a heart of gold; he would give the shirt off his back just to help someone no matter how many demons he was fighting. His death has placed a huge hole in my heart and I do not want to see another family member live that pain. I pray that this will help save many lives; no one should live through the hell that these veterans do…. The gift is like an organ donation. If other veterans are saved from suicide because this donation helps them to afford treatment, then Phillip has lived on.”