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Raised in Edmonds, Wash., he was a sergeant when he went through a grueling school to become an officer in 2000. He got his bachelor’s degree in night school and went on to get a master’s from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and a doctorate at the University of Denver. A father of five, he put three kids into the Air Force Academy and one into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Three have graduated and one is a sophomore. The fifth kid was a top high school scholar in the Pikes Peak region and attends University of Denver. “He pushed all of us,” his daughter, Air Force Lt. Emily Short said Thursday. “His word for us was ‘Don’t do it the hard way, the way I did.’” Born in Caracas, Ambard never lost his admiration for his adopted land. When he leaned English, he sought perfection and spoke without an accent. He told his children to be grateful for the gifts that come with American citizenship. “Whenever we complained about something, he said ‘You could have worse things in this life,’” Short said. Earning an officer’s rank, all the education, the dedication to the Air Force was all about building a better life for his family. “He worked so many hours, but when he came home he was home,” his wife said. “He was a dad, he was a husband, he was a friend. Ambard was a busy man, but found time for Boy Scouts, church and other community activities. Co-workers said it seemed like he’d gained the ability to live without sleep. “I will always remember Phil for a phrase he would say anytime I asked him to do anything — ……‘Consider it done, sir’…..

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