Philip Bossert a retired Air Force Colonel who grew up in Massapequa has died of complications from a brain tumor in Texas at age 54.
Bossert, who worked as a Newsday paperboy and a busboy at Dick and Dora's restaurant as a youth, earning enough money to earn his first pilot's license, according to the website legacy.com.
He graduated from Massapequa High School in 1977 and after attending a prep school in Oregon, he received an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy, where he graduated in 1982.
Bossert became a command pilot and served in the US Military action in Panama and in the first Gulf War. He was deployed to Afghanistan three times. Bossert spent 28 years on active duty and earned Master's degrees in Economics, Military Studies, Strategic Studies, and Public Administration from Old Dominion University, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Air War College, and Auburn University.
He served on the faculties of the Air Force Academy and the University of Houston.
Bossert retired from the Air Force in 2010. He was survived by a wife and two children. A funeral mass was held at the Air Force Academy Chapel. In lieu of flowers, his family asks that donations be made to The Wounded Warrior Project.