Saturday, April 28, 2007

Army Sgt. Glenn D. Hicks Jr.

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Glenn D. Hicks Jr., 24, of College Station, Texas

Sgt. Hicks was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.; died April 28, 2007 in Salman Pak, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his vehicle was struck with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire during combat operations. Also killed were Pfc. Jay-D H. Ornsby-Adkins and Pvt. Cole E. Spencer.

The Eagle -- Former College Station resident Glenn Dale Hicks Jr. stood bravely in front of an American flag with a stoic expression - the classic photo of a soldier taken after a graduation of some sort.

The image of the one-time Blinn College student was captured in a photograph released Wednesday by Fort Benning, Ga., just days after the soldier's death.

Officials at Fort Benning said Wednesday that they have little information about the explosion that killed Hicks, 24, and two fellow soldiers, 21-year-olds Pfc. Jay-D Ornsby-Adkins of Ione, Calif., and Pvt. Cole Spencer of Gays, Ill.

The three died Saturday in Salman Pak, Iraq, which is about 15 miles south of Baghdad.

Hicks had been at Fort Benning since July 2004, according to records.

Attempts to reach the soldier's family have been unsuccessful. Although he listed a College Station address when he joined the military, he doesn't seem to have lived in the area in recent years.

He attended Blinn College in fall 2002 and spring 2003, said a Blinn spokeswoman, but his permanent address on file at the college was in Tarrant County.

A newspaper in Ione reported that a candlelight vigil was held Tuesday evening for Ornsby-Adkins, who emigrated from Australia with his mother when he was 5 years old. Ornsby-Adkins had been married since December, the paper reported.

Spencer was engaged to be married and had been in Iraq for about a month when the bomb hit the Humvee in which he, Hicks and Ornsby-Adkins were riding, an Illinois TV station reported earlier this week.

The three young men were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.

Chaplain Marvin Luckie, an active duty major who counsels families at Fort Hood's Darnall Army Community Hospital near Killeen, said soldiers never are fully prepared to lose one of their own.

"Soldiers are people just like you and me," he said. "They care for and love their fellow soldiers. They live with that person day in and day out, and when they lose that person, they grieve like any other human being would. This is their brother, their battle buddy. [Glenn Hicks] was part of someone's heart and someone's life."

Officials at Fort Hood have been asked to provide "casualty assistance" to the Hicks family because of Killeen's proximity to the Hicks' home in Tarrant County, a spokeswoman at Fort Benning in Georgia said Wednesday.

The men and women enlisted in the U.S. Army know that death is a real possibility while fighting in a war, Luckie said.

"We all have to prepare for our own death," he said. "The bottom line is, check yourself. Do you have a will? Do you have a funeral planned? Do you have faith? Before I leave on deployment, I make sure my bride of 30 years won't have to worry about those things."

Faith is of great importance as a young person enters combat, Luckie said, explaining that the Bible verse he most often shares with soldiers is Psalm 138:8. The Scripture reads, "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me."

"We're going to experience dangers as we defend freedom," he said. "These are the sacrifices that our young warriors are making to ensure our freedom.

"We have to go into this with faith. We have to give each other a hug, offer a prayer and tell these soldiers to do their duty and watch out for each other."

Army Sgt. Glenn D. Hicks Jr. was killed in action on 4/28/07.

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