RIP, Spc. David E. Hickman

The Washington Post’s “obituary” for the last soldier killed in Iraq infuriated me, so here’s hoping my poor writing can be a little better. No, I’m not dignifying WaPo with a link. I want to remember Spc. Hickman the way he would want to be remembered, not with a John Kerry quote, but as one who loved his country and served it well, beyond anything I could do.

Spc. David Emanuel Hickman was from Greensboro, NC. He joined the Army in 2009 and was last assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. He was stationed at Joint Security Station Muthana in Baghdad. On November 14, he was killed, as have far, far too many of our soldiers, by an IED.

He earned the National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Expert Infantry Badge, and Parachutist Badge. His hometown newspaper said that awards to come were the Combat Infantry Badge, Good Conduct Medal, Bronze Star, and, of course, the Purple Heart. SPC Hickman was 23 years old. He left behind a wife, parents, a brother, and grandparents, who unfortunately have to deal with the vulturing press as well as their grief. Hopefully the Westboro idiots stayed clear of his funeral.

From his hometown newspaper:

Hickman, 23, was a member of the White Falcons, 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment based at Fort Bragg. His father said he was proud of what his son was accomplishing.

He should have been. The success of U.S. military forces there has made it possible for all combat troops to withdraw with honor by the end of the year. But victory was not achieved without great cost.

This community and the nation owe a debt of gratitude to David Hickman and his family for their service and sacrifice.

I am indeed grateful for SPC Hickman, for his willingness to serve especially in a time of two wars, for his defense of the freedoms I enjoy.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace, and may God give strength and comfort to his family and friends.

52 thoughts on “RIP, Spc. David E. Hickman”

  1. The Navy has a tradition on Carriers of the empty chair with a full place setting as a memorial for those who didn’t make it back. I think it’s a good idea for all the services to implement. At a minimum at dining in.

    RIP Specialist. Thank you.

    It’s pretty dusty here.

    1. Quartermaster, we inadvertantly had that at Christmas two years ago. My sister-in-law had passed away shortly before Thanksgiving. We set the table for Christmas dinner, then my nephew (her older son) didn’t feel well and left to lie down for a while. Somehow it became her seat instead of his. It was a sad reminder, but no one wanted to clear it away.

    2. Q, I’ve seen a POW/MIA ceremony with the vacant chair at each of the WWII commemorations I’ve attended. Fortunately, when I’m behind a camera to videotape, it is easier to detach from the ceremony. However, when I edit those videos, the room always seems dusty.

  2. God Bless this young man and his family…..we salute & honor your service to a greatful nation !
    AirBorne

  3. Another wasted life…thrown away in a misguided, mistaken, dogmatic, mindless sense of loyalty to serve as the government’s automaton in protecting foreign policy “interests.” Not lost, mind you, in defending our country or its people, but instead, following politicians’ objectives and orders, to obtain votes and influence for members of government. So many soldiers are tools…cannon fodder…expendable in the minds of our rulers and masters. Wake-up people! You are being exploited! You soldiers are enraptured and enthralled by authority, that you will take a bullet or shrapnel when ordered to do so by a politician! True, patriotic Americans distrust government, and uphold individual liberty, and think for themselves!

    1. The last time someone as arrogant and condescending as you (and like you, utterly unworthy of such attitudes) posted on the internets, they received a reply much like you deserve:

      YES SIR I CONSIDER MYSELF PROFOUNDLY BLESSED THANK YOU SIR FOR CONDESCENDING TO REPLY TO ME.

      Also, thank you for explaining my own reaction to me, because I don’t understand the nuances of my own thought processes until I have them filtered back to me through the anti-establishment bias of some liberal arts film fucko who thinks it’s edgy to criticize big business and quote cop killers. Jesus, could you be more arrogant? Almost every one of these topics you’ve started is prefaced with something like “please try to think about this objectively” or “set aside your preconceptions and really consider this for a change;” the tacit assumption being that none of us are really giving critical thought to the issue unless we’re seeing things the same way you and your hippie idols do. Like your logic is so PRISTINE and UNASSAILABLE that all you have to do is borrow a quotation from one of your third rate socialist lice farms, present it to us with a sage wink and nod, advise us all to think long and hard and then prance off to FAIRYLAND to bask in self-contentment while the INEVITABLE TRUTH penetrates our THICK, WAGE-SLAVE SKULLS.

      Okay, here goes, I’m thinking critically about what you posted:

      You’re an idiot.

      BLUH FLUH CORPORATIONS ARE EVIL DURR FLURR RACIST IMPERIALIST HEGEMONY AND OTHER SOCIALIST CATCHPHRASES. IN RELATED NEWS: DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM AND SALTY HOT HORSE COCKS

      Does that pretty much sum it up? The world as we know it is just the superstructure that has been pulled over our eyes to keep us from discovering the truth of the base OMG THE MATRIX IS REAL!!!@ You’re regurgitating the same pinko propaganda circulating every liberal college campus across North America, and it’s not revolutionary, it’s common and shopworn: big business bad, redistribution of wealth good, MASSIVE MEAT PISTON IN MY TAN ONE CYLINDER OH SO VERY MUCH BETTER. There’s a reason we’re not falling at your feet for descending from your blue-veined ivory tower and distributing these pearl necklaces of wisdom, and it isn’t because we’re BLIND CAPITALIST SHEEP tranquilized by our televisions. It’s because we’ve painstakingly analyzed your arguments and decided, independent of any brainwashing by THE MAN, that you’re completely goofy. We did this back when the arguments were new, and being expounded by their original authors. If you’re going to jerk off in our faces, you could at least have the courtesy to use your own fucking dick.

      I got the mock advertisement, okay? I didn’t need empty generalizations like “slick oil-crats” to clarify, it was fucking crystalline the first time. Here is what it was not:

      A) Funny.
      B) Insightful.
      C) Heterosexual.

      <>

      I must’ve misunderstood the part about Uncle Sam being a drug addict and America bringing the 9-11 attacks on itself, then. That was actually quite complimentary of the United States, was it? TIP: expressions of sympathy over the attacks and love for the nation will be a lot more convincing if you’re not simultaneously saying BY GOD WE FUCKING DESERVED IT and posting a slew of largely irrelevant pseudofacts that purport to prove why.

      I perceive you’re shitting on the country BECAUSE YOU ARE. Constantly. In every one of these posts. The real America, anyways; I can’t speak with any authority about the idealized Platonic form of America you’ve distilled from 19th century poetry and your Rage Against The Machine albums.

      See also: the part where you compare America to Nazi Germany in its treatment of drug addicts; or rather, the part where you paraphrase Allen Ginsburg’s comparison, because again, you don’t seem to have an original thought in your head. And speaking of whom, this is where you’re getting your ideological ammunition? A pot addled cock smoker who scraped together just enough presence of mind to immortalize his paranoid acid fugues in free verse? Great. I’m bowled RIGHT THE FUCK over. Do you have any conception of how insulting it is to anyone who survived the holocaust, not to mention the memories of the dead, to compare the jailing of drug addicts to an attempted genocide which claimed six million lives? You child. You absolute infant. You’re calling your mom Hitler because she won’t let you borrow the family car.

      <>

      In the last couple of threads you’ve mostly ignored the irrefutable points he’s made against you in favor of latching on to the least salient aspect of his argument and hammering it into the ground. Eagerly awaiting more of the same.

  4. Sui Juris is the poster boy for someone absent of soul, spirit, pride, loyalty, dignity and any other adjective that would describe a selfless individual who chooses to serve their country. Not once have I heard of a young person signing up for the love of their Congressman – so they can better serve their senator. God, what a condescending piece of shit you are. Do you think Pat Tillman saw those towers come down and thought to himself, “my congresscritter needs me”? Hell no he didn’t, he signed up to fight for, protect and defend the very country who he so passionately loved and respected. You don’t deserve to lick the dirt he walked on you miserable scab on humanities backside. Your tunnel vision views of the subject reek of the incompetence the left breeds and your patronizing of young Americans values and beliefs is beneath contempt.

    Fuck. Off.

  5. This young man worked for, fought for, and died for something he believed in. Think about what kind of commitment that takes. Not a lot of people ever make a commitment of that magnitude. You think he can’t think for himself? You don’t know very many soldiers, do you?

    And you downgrade it with that crap you just posted? Maybe your party takes conflict for granted, but the President who sent those men overseas takes it very seriously. And no, his initials are not B and O. Take a look at his visits to Walter Reed, and the Dallas Airport. It’s not for a publicity stunt. He cares about his decision, and he lives with the impact that decision had on many lives.

    Add another Fuck. Off. to your tally.

  6. The English language should be just as offended as our soldiers. I haven’t seen this use of cliches, poor adjective selection, and wanton abuse of ellipses in quite a while.

    You’re a dick and a poor writer.

  7. Sui Juris – How dare you attempt to speak for me or anyone else who chooses to wear the uniform of this country?! You are either posturing or deluded. Personally, I think you are an ass.

  8. Sui Juris, I am not an American citizen, but from the Netherlands, a country liberated by the Allied Forces in 1945, after years under Nazi occupation.
    Young men of the 82nd and 101st jumped into my occupied country on the 17th of September 1944. They all gave some of their youth, and some gave all, 10.000 never left Holland, they are young forever in fields of white markers.
    How dare you post what you did above…
    If not for the young men and women in the service, then and now, you wouldn’t be enjoying that freedom of speech you so ignorant violated with your utterly dumb and retarded remark.
    We Dutch have shed blood in those sandboxes, next to our US, British, Polish, Australian en other coalition brothers in arms. Proud to line up and man the MLR for freedom.
    Visit Holland some day, I’d love to show the country, and plug your head in a dike.

    LEST WE EVER FORGET THE TRUE PRICE OF FREEDOM !!

  9. When, since WW-II (and then only arguably), has the military ever done anything to “preserve” freedom here in the U.S? First of all, the U.S. military is the largest group of welfare “queens” in the world–all those soldiers sucking up taxpayer money and using it to invade other countries and kill their citizens. The U.S. Military is the largest cause of U.S. overspending and debt. For each soldier who dies–unless he/she is theoretically drafted by the U.S. Government (which doesn’t happen currently–meaning every single soldier who dies now)–I say “assumption of the risk!” They assume the risk of dying when they join up; I mean–soldiers sometimes die, right? Who doesn’t know that? So any soldier who dies by foolishly VOLUNTARILY joining the military, had assumed that risk.

  10. Oh, by the way–I think “Sui Juris” is 100% correct. Can’t you people see what he/she is pointing out? Can’t you see that the government has brainwashed all you sheep into believing that all these soldiers spread out over 900 bases around the world and who invade Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nicaragua, etc., are somehow “preserving our freedoms”? Do you honestly believe a soldier shooting an Iraqi child or killing a villager in Afghanistan is “preserving” freedom of speech?!? You sheeple are hopeless.

  11. roamingfirehydrant <– What if I don't? Are you going to shoot me with your government-issued rifle? Stomp on me with your shiny army boots? Wrap yourself in an American flag, light yourself on fire, and try to wrap your "Semper Fi" tatooed arms around me?

  12. Newt-lover, I’m not a veteran, I’m just proud to count many vets in my family and my circle of friends. I’ve heard enough about third-world shithole countries to know that I’m blessed here, and it’s because of these soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who volunteer to serve. 19 people came here ten years ago and killed 3,000 people, including someone I knew. I want a strong military between me and anyone else who’d like to try to repeat that.

  13. Nice to see the bleating sheep have a pulse. For the record, I’m not a liberal or a democrat—just an American-loving citizen who believes in liberty, capitalism, free-trade, state sovereignty, and decentralized government. Also, I wasn’t so much excoriating this fallen soldier as much as I was criticizing society for creating the conditions that make such senseless, foolish sacrifice possible. Don’t you flag-wavers, war hawks and firebrands see that you’re all being duped and defrauded by your lords and masters, the venal politicians who got in a position of power by virtue of winning a popularity contest? This poor sucker died for the same superstitious, cult beliefs that infects all you automatons and lapdogs in this world—the senseless Cult of Trust in Government …in obeisance and loyalty to elitist government Rulers, and to our former neighbors and peers who seek power and control over others. You have all been swindled, duped and indoctrinated into being an automaton for The State, starting with your earliest exposure to public schooling, rote recitations and pledges of allegiance to The State, singing national anthems with the rest of the bleating herd, and years of indoctrination to naively believe that serving the government is honorable and good, and is somehow synonymous with helping your fellow citizens, and that taking a bullet and dying because a politician told you to, is somehow heroic. If everyone refused to join, or if drafted, refused to fight, maybe the 150 foreign countries out there that we provide defenses and military bases and funding for would actually develop their own defense budgets and stop relying on America’s welfare. Safety nets—whether for people, businesses, or countries—only create moral hazards, and promote reckless lifestyles. AMerica should put America FIRST, bring all its robot armies (like Clover, from Orwell’s Animal Farm—the mindless, dutiful servant of The State, who was worked to death) home, and devote itself to laissez-faire capitalism, free trade and commerce—and with the wealth produced in 5-10 years’ time, we could buy anything that war would have accomplished. Suckers, all of you.

    1. You meant Boxer, not Clover. Please go back to the library and re-read the book. If you mess up that simple, imagine how many importants things you’re simply mis-remembering.

  14. My point is that this fine young man died in vain, and for nothing. The government disposed of a precious life like a used-up tissue. Nothing was gained. The use of so many soldiers nowadays, in so many “faux wars” (non-declared, “police actions” since WWII), only cheapens the honor for these soldiers. Bravery was where the Americans fought the British in order to secede from the British Empire. These guys, aiming guns at the “enemy of the moment” and shooting at perfect strangers because some idiot in Washington D.C. ordered some general in the pentagon to order some general overseas to occupy a territory or start a war—it’s absurd to call that patriotism, or defending one’s country, or heroic. Utterly ridiculous. If invaders attacked my neighborhood, city, state or country, then I—and most everyone in this country—would be there in the fight; I’d have my SKS or M1A or Mosin Nagant, driving back the enemy. How can anyone equate that kind of TRUE frontline defensive work, with the 3rd-rate operations going on around the world with our soldiers??!!

  15. Yep, Ronulans. Luap Nor’s foreign policy on display, for the world to see.

    Light is on, roaches. Time to scurry away. No one’s buying your bullshit here. Sounds to me like you’re the brainwashed one. You didn’t answer one of my comments, just spouted off more crap.

    Go away.

  16. Ron Paul is a freaking idiot truther looser lunatic. I laugh at Ron Paul and his laughable imbecilic pot smoking brain numbed freak sheepish followers.
    I agree with MCPO. Paulbots = Westboro lunatic deluded brainwashed cult follower. Wait there is a cool aid drinker in there somewhere.

  17. Not a single rebuttal to any of my arguments, I see; just invective and ad hominem attacks. Maybe I need to speak your language, so here goes: Ba-a-a-a-a, sheeple.
    No, Ron Paul’s a geek and a freak in my opinion, because of his economics. GO BACHMANN! BACHMANN 2012 !!!!!!!!!!

    1. You got plenty of rebuttals to your arguments, namely the status of choice of the soldier. Just because you choose to ignore it, does not invalidate the rebuttal.

      If that’s all you have, please go somewhere else.

    2. Sui, your only argument was that soldiers and the people here are all blind to what you see and that the government is brain-washing us. You imply that soldiers are stupid automatons. Both of those arguments have been refuted. You are not “seeing through the smoke”, nor are you possessed of some brilliance that the rest of us are not. We’re not blind to our government’s flaws, we just realize that every other option for government sucks. I fully support your spouting of invective because you have that right, but that doesn’t mean we have to listen to or read your arrogant rant.

  18. My point was not that this soldier, nor others, are unjustly forced to die (absent a military draft, that is). Rather, my point was that this “war” and others in recent memory, cheapened his sacrifice, and that there is no heroism or nobility in fighting for these hollow causes. Supply and demand, you know—the more wars and conflicts we have, the cheaper the meaning behind them, and the less significant the sacrifice. But more importantly, these conflicts are not on behalf of America, or these soldiers’ fellow citizens, but instead, on behalf of self-interested, short-sighted politicians. But hey, it’s their (and your) choice. No skin off my nose, except that your salaries, and the money used to purchase your pop-guns, is coming out of my wallet. You are all welfare queens and leeches, just like the domestic welfare recipients who bleed the economy of wealth. Moochers, the lot of you. The rest of us have to work hard, to support your military careers, so you can kill people and get fancy medals and pretty ribbons to pin on your marching band uniforms, all so you can strut in your hometown parades and catch the junior high girls’ admiring glances.

    1. Wow. You really do hate soldiers. Did they turn you down for flat feet when you tried to enlist? Did some girl dump you for one?

      Your anger and vitriol is subject to the laws of supply and demand as well. You spew some much hatred that each bit of it becomes less important. Each time you work yourself up into a self-righteous lather makes people listen less.

      You have my pity.

    2. First you blame this “war” for cheapening the sacrifice of this young man, then you turn around and call those who serve in the military “leeches” and “welfare queens”. The disgust and hatred you feel for those who are patently above you is evident. Unlike David, I feel nothing for you. No hate, no pity, nothing. Your words have damned you without any aid from us.

      I do hope that you never need anything from the military. I don’t think there is enough crow out there.

    3. You’ve become boring, as well as boorish. You’re banned. If you wish to plead your case for unbanning, or complain about how I’m censoring you, just shoot me an email.

  19. No one is responding to your arguments because they are juvenile and contradictory. There’s also a lot of statements that are pretty offensive in your comments. If you’d like to have a rational argument about American foreign policy, you might want to trim the sails a bit on the ‘died in vain’ ‘wasted life’ ‘sheeple’ attacks you throw out. Complaining about the use of invective while throwing it around quite liberally makes you appear inconsistent.

    Also, relax dude. You’ll never have occasion to defend anything other than a blog comment. You may want to ponder why that is, rather than espousing to know the TRUTH, which is actually just a foreign policy opinion.

  20. I bet you guys are chomping at the bit over this Defense Authorization Act that Obama’s about to sign into law, which will give the military the power to detain fellow Americans indefinitely without due process or trial or anything Constitutional (remember the Constitution?—piece of parchment, supreme law of the land, all that sort of thing? The same thing that mandated that wars follow a declaration by Congress and not just unilateral proclamation by the Executive branch?). I bet all you members of the President’s personal army/Republican Guard/Gestapo role players can’t wait for when the Pres unleashes and unmuzzles you, so you can start imprisoning Aunt Bea and Goober Pyle for being designated by the President as “anti-American”…. Traitors to the American Revolution, you are, when that happens. The populace just might grow some balls and tear you apart, limb from limb—if you’re lucky.

    1. I think you’re confusing us with Eric Holder. Go look him up, fast, then come back furious.

  21. I’m done with this charade. You guys are too unreceptive and narrow-minded to consider what I’ve been saying (and I admit, after things turned nasty, I returned the volley).
    Good luck on your body counts, and in maiming and killing people who have done nothing to you except incur the enmity of your Ruler.

    1. I’m wondering if Sui pronounces that “sha-rod” or “sha-raid”. I’m guessing it’s the former.

  22. For every great thing we get from the internet (access to almost the sum of all human knowledge, hilarious pictures of cats), it unfortunately allows crackpots an audience wider than how far they can shout from a soapbox on a corner. I take the good with the bad, but I am going to ignore the bad as best I can.

    I love this blog.

  23. Thank you so much for posting this, we were all pretty disgusted with the WaPo’s article.

  24. Spc. David E. Hickman;

    Thanks you so very much for your service, may God bless you and your family for giving us paratroopers like you. This is coming from an American, a Husband, a Father and former 2/325 B Co 82nd Airborne Paratrooper. I know in my heart our country is much safer from your service. So in other words THANKS!!!!!

    Lets Go

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