Grant, Philip (Interview transcript and video), 2021


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Grant, Philip (Interview transcript and video), 2021


Griffiths, Elle (Interviewer)


Philip Grant was born on November 18th, 1986, and grew up in rural Reading, Pennsylvania. He attended basic training for the Army National Guard between his junior and senior year of high school, completed his advanced training afterward, and was first deployed to Iraq in 2009. He belonged to the 56th Stryker Brigade, 2nd 104th Cavalry as a chaplain assistant, and was based out of Camp Taji during his Iraq service. On April 12th, 2009, Easter Sunday, Grant and the chaplain were busy attending to religious services and were intending on visiting their Charlie troop to offer the Easter message and communion. Just before they left, they received a message that the platoon they would have been traveling with had been hit. As part of their chaplain corps duties the two went to help attend to the casualties, Grant witnessed his first gruesome combat injuries when helping the wounded soldiers and considers this incident to be the most traumatic event he experienced during his service. Despite this traumatic event, Grant still made many meaningful friendships during this time and maintained a positive outlook overall. After returning from service, however, Grant struggled with feelings of disconnection from the life he had before, which turned into a sense of deep loneliness and anger. His personal life and relationships were negatively affected by this, and Grant reached his lowest point when a SWAT team came to his house in order to be admitted to a psychological hospital for evaluation. After struggling with the role the military played in his life, learning how to live with it, and recognizing it as an integral part of who he was, Grant was able to attend therapy and come to terms with both his identity and the future he wanted for himself. His second deployment was spent in Jordan, which proved to be an overwhelmingly positive experience for Grant. He was able to interact with the locals and experience many of the significant historical sites within the country, which held even more significance considering his faith and role as a chaplain’s assistant in the Army. Grant met his wife in the military, graduated with his master’s degree, and is raising three daughters. Grant is incredibly thankful for the time he spent in the military, and believes that both the positive and negative experiences were worth it and a necessary part of his development as a person.




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Grand Valley State University Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI, 49401.


Veterans History Project (U.S.)






Moving Image




Grant, Philip R., “Grant, Philip (Interview transcript and video), 2021,” Digital Collections, accessed June 12, 2024,
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