May 31, 2010

Embassy of the United States of America Kolonia
The Kaselehlie Press

On May 11, the remains of the late U.S. Army Sergeant Raymond J. Hicks, 26, arrived at Pohnpei International Airport on Continental flight 957. Sgt. Hicks died on April 24 in Sierra Vista, Arizona from non-combat related injuries.

A memorial service was held in his honor at Kolonia Chapel in Panasang, Sokehs. Kolonia Chapel Brother Francisco Simram presided as Master of Ceremony, and special remarks were provided by FSM Foreign Affairs Secretary Lorin Robert and U.S. Ambassador Peter A. Prahar. In his speech, Ambassador Prahar remarked, "How lucky we are that our two countries, separated by thousands of miles of ocean, have men and women who not only believe in the ideals that our countries stand for, but are willing to pay the price to defend them….At ease Sergeant Hicks, peace has come to you at last. While your time with us was much too short, you take with you the eternal thanks of two grateful nations."

Upon conclusion of the service, a motorcade escorted the remains to the Hicks Residence in Sekere, Sokehs. A U.S. Military Honor Guard, based in Fort Schofield, Hawaii, placed the coffin in the family home for traditional mourning.

On Wednesday afternoon, a burial service was held in Sekere. Brother Simram presided as Master of Ceremony, while the Honor Guard performed the traditional military honors of firing of volleys, Taps, and presentation of flags. U.S. Army Casualty Affairs Officer Captain Isaac Floyd provided the citation of awards, which included the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Army Good Conduct Medal. Following the service, family and friends lowered Sgt. Hicks to his eternal rest.

Sergeant Raymond Hicks joined the military in June 2006. He trained at Fork Jackson, South Carolina and Fort Gordon, Georgia before relocating to Fort Huachuca in February 2007. Sergeant Hicks deployed to Afghanistan in December 2007 until March 2009. During his tour, Sergeant Hicks served as a multi channel transmission systems operator-maintainer for Company C, 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 11th Signal Brigade.

Sergeant Hicks is survived by his wife Tressia Postoak, daughter Anana, father Jimmy L. Hicks, mother Aurelia A. Hicks, sisters Jeeny S. Taimana, Sheila A. Jackson, and Josephine Hicks, and brother Ander Hicks.