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.