Thoughts on two young men

October 29, 2008


I want to share with you my thoughts on two young men that I’ve known and loved their entire lives.
The first, my godson & first cousin, Philip lost both parents at an early age.  He struggled with that, but chose  to get a degree and enlist in the United States Marine Corps.  His career was extremely successful, frequent deployments allowed him to visit many countries.  As a commanding officer with the rank of Captain, Philip was stationed in a small community in Iraq where he was much respected.  In June a suicide bomber ended his life and that of two other marines and several locals.  Phil left behind his lovely wife, Ginger, Austin (9) and adorable twins, Ashlee and Emilee (6).
The second is my youngest brother, Andrew.  He and Phil, always close, were both alter boys at my wedding.  The loss of his good friend has inspired him to action.  He has been training for months to run a 26k marathon this weekend. (I don’t remember him running for anything except dessert!)  He and another brother, Peter have developed a web site:
I would appreciate you visiting the web site.  Andrew and TeamDykeman plan to raise $15,000 to establish a scholarship in Phil’s name.  If everyone sent just a few dollars the goal would be met.  Phil’s children,  Austin and the twins are now in the same school district their father was and will graduate from the high school he did in Central Square.  The family was deeply moved by the people of Oneida County on the day of Phil’s funeral.  The 23 mile trip from funeral home to church and then cemetery was lined with wonderful people of all ages, some in uniform, waving or holding flags in honor of a young man many didn’t know anything about except that he had been raised in the area.  There were literally hundreds of people, many had waited hours for the procession to pass them.
With pride, love and respect for these two young men….
Have a safe Halloween weekend,

Mary Bateman-Ferry
p.s. for those of you not living in NYS, YES, there is some snow on the ground this a.m.!


A note from Art Dykeman….

October 28, 2008

I am Phil’s older brother Art and I wanted to say thank you in advance for your support in this endeavor.

I have a tendency to ramble… so you may want to get a beverage before proceeding.

First off I want to thank everyone who has put this together for my brother, if you have not or are not mentioned but should be blame cousin Andrew…
Just kidding.

Ya see Andrew has been working on this for a while and is very passionate about the project, it’s progress and it’s prospects.  He calls pretty regularly to let me know how and what things are going on.  A typical conversation with him on this topic sorta sounds like this:

 RunnningthemarathonforPhilgotPeterhelpingthewebsiteCindyCrouse..IN HALE..
 hasbeenagreathelpohandsheremembersyouwerethebeststudentwiththebestgrades ..
 IN HALE.. goinggranttheschoolarshipsent450emailsout.. IN HALE..
 MikeisrunningtheUSMCMarathonwithmenextyear.. IN HALE..

Well you get the idea.  He is very excited as we all are.

It has been almost 4 months since Phil past.  I can’t say that they have all been easy.  I will tell you though that I am still more proud than sad.  Not only of Phil but of the community that helped pay homage to him during the funeral. The images in my head are clear and detailed as if I am standing there right now.  What the people of this community did for my brother was humbling and they should be EXTREMELY proud of what they have done and continue to do every day.  For those that were not there you can find photos on the web I will tell you it was the most impressive display I have ever seen.

The events around my Brother’s funeral moved me to take a good look at what I have done for the place I grew up in.  I felt and still feel very guilty that I had/have not given back to the community that gave my family and I so much, at least not to the degree I feel I should have.

TeamDykeman, his Blog, the Scholarship drive, the dedications are a beginning and I am glad that my cousins have taken the ball and run with it.
I don’t believe we are done here though.  I don’t know how or what I will do to follow suite but I still owe.

In the coming weeks I plan on writing some stories about Phil, and encourage anyone who wants to share their stories as well for a few of reasons:
1.      So his kids will know their father like I(we) did
2.      For those that follow him through this scholarship
3.      For us to remember and never forget

Tribute to Central New York

October 26, 2008

I live in Raleigh, North Carolina, I will probably live here the rest of my life.  But when anyone asks where I am from, I reply proudly that I am from Central New York.  My Father Graduated from Syracuse in 1949.  Canʼt wait for Basketball season.  We travel home every year to our family’s camp on Chase Lake in the Adirondacks.  I have family all over Central New York.  People from this area are some of the best people in the world.  I have always known it, but the respect shown by the patriotic people of this area the day of Captain Philʼs funeral, was awesome.  

Below please read the letter of thanks sent by Master Chief Petty Officer Arthur Dykeman, US Navy,  Captain Philʼs older brother, to the Post Standard.  We chose the Paul V. Moore High School scholarship fund as a tribute to Captain Phil and the people of Central New York.   It is our hope that not only will Phil’s children benefit from this scholarship but also others from this great area.   Read the rest of this entry »

The ball is rolling….

October 22, 2008

Mrs. Cynthia Crouch has been instrumental in helping us set up the scholarship.  Many Thanks to her.  She also is spreading the word.  this went out to the staff of Paul V. Moore High School.  Mrs. Crouch is a Guidance Counselor at the school, and was for all three Dykeman children.  She has really been great to work with.
I put out your email to all of the our staff and have heard back from a couple of staff members that they needed kleenex after reading.  You really worded this so well, Andrew.  Having said that, one of the staff asked if you had placed this in the Citizen Outlet and/or the Syracuse Post Standard (Oswego edition) newspaper and thought I might give you a heads up on that as there could be people who knew Philip (in class or school or community) that might want to contribute.  Hope this helps.  Cindy”


So let’s get the ball rolling…  I know these are tough times… but we need every bodies help to kick-start the scholarship fund.   For information on making a donation click here…


Always faithful,


Welcome to

October 21, 2008

This blog is a work in progress.   The goal is to keep everyone updated on our efforts to raise money for the Captian Phillip J. Dykeman Memorial Scholarship.  The blog format was chosen because it allows everyone to participate in the conversation.   Below each post is a link to add your comments, comments on other comments… and so on.   You get the idea.

In a week I will be participating in the City of Oaks Marathon.  I will be posting a few stories from my training and will use the blog to let everybody know how I did… you know… finished.    If you want to post a picture or add a post to the blog.   E-mail us at and we will add it to the blog.   I want this to be a fun but informative.

Dear Family and Friends,

October 17, 2008
Phil at work in Anbar

Phil at work in Anbar

As many of you know, my friend and cousin, Captain Philip J. Dykeman USMC was killed in Iraq June 26, 2008. 


Phil died at the young age of 38 leaving behind his wife of almost 10 years, 3 children – Austin, 9; Emilee, 6 and Ashlee, 6 – and an extended family stretching across the country that miss him dearly with every passing day.  ‘Captain Phil’, as his troops called him, served as a Marine for 17 years.  His service took him to over 20 countries across the world. Captain Philip Dykeman gave his life for our Country and now it is time to give back.


I would like to officially announce that I am running the “City of Oaks” Marathon in Raleigh, North Carolina, Sunday November 2, 2008 in honor of Capt. Philip Dykeman’s life and service to the United States of America .  My training consists of both short and long runs throughout the week (my longest run was 20 miles last Sunday).  Every time my feet hit the ground, I think of Phil and I am able to run just a little bit faster and just a little bit farther. He is my inspiration.


My tremendous love and respect for my cousin has moved me to action – to help support his family and carry on his name.  I have established a scholarship – The Captain Philip J. Dykeman Memorial Scholarshipthrough Paul V. Moore High School – Phil’s alma mater in Central Square, NY.   Phil’s three children will follow in his footsteps there and will benefit from this fund upon their graduation.  In addition to Phil’s children, each year, a recipient will be chosen from the high school to benefit from the scholarship.  My goal is to ensure that Captain Philip J. Dykeman’s name carries on forever.

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