Monday, November 14, 2011

Army Spc. David E. Hickman

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. David E. Hickman, 23, of Greensboro, N.C.

Spc. Hickman was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Nov. 14, 2011 in Baghdad of injuries caused by an improvised explosive device.

Spc Hickman became the last American soldier to die in Iraq. The war officially ended on December 15, 2011.

Spc Hickman graduated from Northeast Guilford High School in 2006 where he participated in football and track. He was an all conference outside linebacker for the football team and served as team captain.

Spc Hickman was an accomplished black belt in the art of Taekwondo, training for several years at the Greensboro Black Belt Academy.

Spc Hickman joined Army in November 2009. He deployed to Iraq end of May this year. This was his first deployment. He was due home this month.

His father, David, had hoped his son would follow in his foot steps and join the Air Force, but his son enlisted in the Army and went Airborne instead.

Mike King, owner of Greensboro Black Belt Academy, said, "You hear a lot of times people were genuine but I mean truly, just, if he asked you how you were doing, he want to know how you were doing," said King. "There are certain people we teach and we train that over time you somewhat let them slip out of your mind but David is just one of those people that you always have a good thought about."

Friend, Olivia Pegram said, “Of all the people that served, we just thought there was no way he wouldn’t come back." She called him Superman, but he was just as much like Clark Kent. She said Hickman got in a fight once, but that he ended up becoming friends with the guy.

“He was the most genuine and loyal person you’d ever meet,” Pegram said. “He had the most infectious laugh that I’d give the world to hear again.”

“That was his personality,” she said. 'He says one thing funny and you want to hang around with him.”

Lt Col David Doyl, his battalion commander, said he was a physical specimen who excelled at being a soldier. Despite Hichman's young age, he had earned the coveted Expert Infantrymand's Badge. Only about 30% of soldiers who try for that award earn it.

"He stood out," Doyle said, "He proved himself."

Spc Hickman's awards and decorations include:
Bronze Star
Purple Heart
National Defense Service Medal
Iraqi Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Good Conduct Medal
Expert Infantry Badge
Parachutist Badge

Spc Hickman is survived by parents, Veronica and David; wife, Cali; brother, Devon; maternal grandparents, Veronica W. and Reginald M.

Army Spc. David E. Hickman was killed in action on 11/14/11.

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