"He was very giving to everybody and so non-judgmental," says Amanda.
But the decision to have a child was far more difficult. Phil was a Marine, who saw combat in the first Gulf War and he didn't want his family history to repeat itself.
He lost his own father when he was young and he didn't want the same thing to happen again to his family.
But that's exactly what did happen. Last week, Phil and 8 other Marines were killed by Iraqi soldiers pretending to surrender.
Tyler, now six years old, still expects his father to walk thru the door in uniform.
In Tyler's eyes, his father is, "Definitely a marine. He imitates him all the time," says Amanda.
In a letter that came days after his death, the last letter Amanda received from her husband, Tyler's Marine father spoke to his son man to man.
"Hey buddy. I miss you very much. I wish I could be there and play desert strike with you. I miss you badly," reads the letter.
Tyler wont read this letter until he's old enough.
"Be good. I love you, I love you buddy. I'll write tomorrow," the letter ends.
According to Amanda, Phil was the best of dads.
When he left his wife and son take on Saddam Hussein a second time. Phil believed the sacrifice would be worthwhile if this time the U.S. succeeded. Now his wife carries that same message.
"They're not dying in vain if they finish the job," says Amanda.
She even has a message to President Bush.
"Finish it. You had the strength to go in there do this. Have the strength to finish it," she says.
Knowing that her son will soon ask, "Why?" this widow is waiting to see if she'll have an honorable answer.
"Don't make my son grow up without a father for nothing. Don't take my husband away for nothing," Amanda says.