In 1962, Neiens was an in-flight aircraft mechanic during ``Operation Dominic,'' a secret atomic bomb testing mission near Christmas Island.
After ``Dominic,'' Neiens served in Vietnam as an aircraft mechanic to ensure the safety of soldiers being delivered to strategic bases.
Since Vietnam, for the past 38 years, Neiens has worked as a public-works inspector, overseeing construction of new roads and ensuring that city-improvement projects meet strict codes.
After a lifetime of protecting other people's lives, it's Neiens who now needs his own life saved.
City Manager Mike Sedell called Neiens ``a valued member of our city family.
Public Works Director Tim Nanson has worked with Neiens for several years and said he is dedicated to his community.
Phillip Neiens has acute myelogenous leukemia, the most common leukemia in adults with some 10,000 new cases annually.