The Faces Behind The Forces: Sgt Robert Hicks

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Robert and his wife, Sekoiya enjoying our Grill & Chill Father's Day event.

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Robert serving hungry Air Force deployers before their flight back to Barksdale Air Force Base.

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Sgt Hicks with with group of soldiers enjoying one of the USO's BBQ's at their base on Northwest Field.

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Robert and USO Andersen volunteer team serving those on Northwest Field.

USO Guam volunteer and U.S. Army active duty service member, Sergeant Robert Hicks, hails from Pittsburgh, California and joined the USO Forces at his first duty station in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He was welcomed by such caring USO volunteers which inspired him to give back and volunteer alongside them. “I decided to join because of people that were at the USO, and how incredibly kind they were and how much they did for us.”

His first encounter had a long lasting impression on him and has played a key role in his choice to get involved at every duty station he has been assigned to.

In 2017, when they were brand new to Guam, Robert and his wife, Sekoiya, were warmly welcomed at USO Andersen’s new center location. Robert and his battery, comprised of almost 100 Soldiers, were one of the first to see and experience what incredible new things the USO had brought to Andersen Air Force Base. Being so passionate about his career with the Army and appreciative of the support the USO provided, Robert and Sekoiya chose to participate in as many Outreach Programs he could lay his hands on. They were involved in many outreach BBQs, especially those held for his fellow Soldiers working in the very remote jungles of Andersen’s Northwest Field. We asked Robert what his favorite program was but as hard as he tried, he couldn’t just name a single program but instead went on and on about ALL the programs he loved. “Outreach volunteering is the best! There is no other organization that helps us the way the USO does.”

Robert’s first deployment brought him all the way to Iraq to support the war on terrorism. He deployed with a small battery that was immediately put to work in tough living conditions. Their team worked around the clock to make a camp and their rapid work enabled multiple coalition forces to set up their camps as well. During the 6 months of his deployment, the USO provided a support tent which had phones, computers, and some basic entertainment. “The first person I Skyped was my wife. I didn’t want her to worry, so I talked about myself and asked her lots of questions about her day.” Before they encountered the USO, they had nothing to make them feel at home and were living off of MRE’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As soon as they saw the USO sign, they immediately knew there was a support system waiting and a way to contact their families just beyond the doors.

Robert began his military career with little knowledge about the Army. He recalls seeing his mom wearing her Army uniform on the weekends, but never asked her about what she actually did. He graduated from high school in 2006 and decided he wanted to join the U.S. Army to follow in his mom’s footsteps. However, his mom, who has been an active duty Soldier in the National Guard for 23 years and counting, advised against it because our country was at war at the time and she was concerned about her son’s safety. Over the next few years, Robert’s desire to fight for his country only grew stronger and at age 25, Robert decided to enlist in the Army and hasn’t looked back since. His career has allowed him to focus even more on helping others. During his time off from work he really enjoys supporting local community events and tries to learn as much as possible about this military life to help any new Soldiers that come into his unit.

Robert has now been an active USO Volunteer for 3 years and has served more than 250 hours in multiple locations around the world. He started his service with USO Andersen as one of our Outreach Volunteers, but recently trained as a Center Representative Volunteer to help support our busy center on weekends. In Robert’s free time outside of work and volunteering, he enjoys fishing and challenging himself in numerous running events around the island to keep fit and active. He is one of our key active duty volunteers and we are delighted to have him as part of our USO Force Behind the Forces!

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