Phyllis Eason was born in Roanoke City, Virginia on 14 January 1941, the daughter of a US Army soldier. In 1956, she met her future husband Paul Galanti in Ankara, Turkey, where both of their fathers were stationed. She graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1963 and then married Galanti, and she worked at Reynolds Metals in Richmond while her husband was serving in the US Navy during the Vietnam War. After her husband was captured in 1966, she became active with the National League of Families of Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia, raising awareness of the plight of prisoners-of-war in Vietnam. She met with President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during her activism career, and, on 15 February 1973, she was reunited with her husband when he returned home following the war's end; they were featured on Newsweek on 25 February. Phyllis remained involved with various civil activities, and she died in 2014.