Local News

Broughton teachers fondly remember grad killed in Afghanistan

Posted July 23, 2012 12:15 p.m. EDT
Updated July 23, 2012 7:16 p.m. EDT

— Teachers recalled a 2009 Broughton High School graduate who was killed in Afghanistan last week as a fun-loving go-getter.

Spc. Darrion T. Hicks, 21, of Raleigh, died Thursday in Ghanzi, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained from an improvised explosive device, officials said.

Hicks joined the Army immediately after graduating from Broughton High, and he was assigned to the 54th Engineer Battalion, 18th Engineer Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command in Bamberg, Germany.

"He's a young man I wish all of my cadets were like," Master Sgt. Richard Suggs, who was Hicks' ROTC instructor in high school, said Monday.

Suggs said Hicks was a hard worker who participated in the drill team, color guard and Veterans Day parade units. He was voted Mr. Junior ROTC as a senior.

Ricky Brantley, who teaches automotive technology at Broughton High, said Hicks was one of his favorite students.

"He was a person who just wanted to learn," Brantley said, recalling how passionate Hicks was about cars and how he would spend hours under the hood in class getting greasy.

"We always had a joke because I would call him my black son, and he would just, it would tickle him to death to hear me say that to him. That's how much I loved him," he said. "We're not talking about a teacher that made an impact on a student. We're talking about a student who made an impact on the teacher."

Hicks always wanted to become a soldier, his teachers said.

"I know he was going to make a good one because, anytime I gave him a task to do, he carried it out – I mean to the fullest," Brantley said. "You know what? He passed away fulfilling the goal he had set."

Hicks is survived by his mother and younger brother.