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Greer solemnly pays tribute to Sgt. Bo Hicks

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, November 26, 2012

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The casket carrying Sgt. Channing

Julie McCombs

The casket carrying Sgt. Channing "Bo" Hicks to Wood Mortuary passes under the American flag over E. Poinsett Street.



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Hundreds of people lined E. Poinsett to pay tribute to Bo Hicks who was killed in action Nov. 16 in Afghanistan.

Julie McCombs

Hundreds of people lined E. Poinsett to pay tribute to Bo Hicks who was killed in action Nov. 16 in Afghanistan.



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The Patriot Guard, nearly 200 strong, lead the procession to Wood Mortuary.

Julie McCombs

The Patriot Guard, nearly 200 strong, lead the procession to Wood Mortuary.



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Bill Carithers, a Navy veteran with three tours in Korea and one in Vietnam, came to Greer to pay his respects to the fallen soldier.

Jim Fair

Bill Carithers, a Navy veteran with three tours in Korea and one in Vietnam, came to Greer to pay his respects to the fallen soldier.



A solemn community lined the streets of Greer this afternoon to pay tribute to native son Sgt. Channing “Bo” Hicks who was killed in action Nov. 16. Hicks’ body arrived at Stevens Aviation at Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

The charter touched down at GSP at 1:56 p.m. and the processional, led by nearly 200 Patriot Guard riders, reached Main Street and East Poinsett at 2:35 p.m. Photo gallery.

Hicks, 24, is the first Greer native killed in the War in Afghanistan that has claimed 94 lives from South Carolina in more than 11 years.

Bill Carithers, A Navy veteran, who served three tours in the Korean War and one in the Vietnam, were among a group that saluted as the processional passed Greer First Baptist Church.  “I go to all the funerals and pay respect to the boys and thank them for their service,” Carithers said.

Carithers, who attends Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, said the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, are bringing recognition to the many Vietnam War-era veterans who did not receive a hero’s welcome home. “The Vietnam veterans are finally getting recognized because of how we welcome home our soldiers now. They never should have attacked the towers in New York. That united this country.”

Carithers said he has a 19-year-old grandson in Afghanistan or near the Pakistan border. “His job is to blow up IEDs (improvised explosive devices). I don’t want to know exactly where he is because I don’t want to tell his sister.”

Patriot Guard Larry Hale, from Knoxville, Tenn., made the ride to Greer. “It’s all about honor, dignity and respect,” Hale said. “Somehow I got a feeling I’m supposed to be here.”

Hale and riding companion, Mary Salerno, had a U.S. flag and one from Afghanistan that was signed by troops on the battlefield.

“It’s hard to watch the people along the side of the road and the families who lost a loved one,” Hale said. “You see these sunglasses, I wear them because of the tears.”

Josh Gentry, a Greer High School senior football player, was among a good-sized support group from the team and classmates who came to be with their teammate John Hicks, brother of Bo Hicks.

“This is beyond football,” Gentry said. “We’re all family. Our hearts are with John and his family.”

Drew Pitman, a volunteer, with the Greer Fire Department, said, “I’m 23 and he was basically the same age. He put his life on the line so I can do what I do. I wanted to show my support for him and his family.”

Hicks and Spc. Joseph A. Richardson, 23, of Booneville, Ark., suffered fatal injuries when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire, according to the Department of Defense. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan. 

Visitation is Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at Fairview Baptist Church. The funeral is 2 p.m. Wednesday at Fairview Baptist Church and burial with full military honors will be at Wood Memorial Park in Duncan.

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Channing Hicks

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