There’s a poster hanging up near the front door of the Auburn Lowe’s, featuring a fallen young soldier dressed in green Army fatigues, a helmet and goggles on his head, his eyes obscured by dark sunglasses. The soldier’s name is Frankie Phillips and his mother, Cherie Phillips, walks past that poster every day on the way to her office.
Staff Sgt. Francis G. Phillips IV, known as Frankie by his family and friends, served for nine years in the United States Army until May 2013, when he and four other soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. He was 28 years old. He will be honored by NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson during a Memorial Day weekend race.
Frankie, who lived in Meridian for a short time before joining the U.S. Army in 2005, was chosen by Lowe’s to be remembered on the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion’s car during the 600 Miles of Remembrance Race on May 27 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Lowe’s is one of Johnson’s biggest sponsors and chooses employees or their family members who were killed in the line of duty to be honored during the race, Auburn Lowe’s manager Shawn Hubbard said. Phillips has worked as an administrator at the Auburn Lowe’s for three years.