By Susan Sexton

Ben Hicks of the Lee’s Summit Fire Department was recently promoted via teleconference from Paramedic/Specialist to Captain. At the time of his promotion, Captain Hicks was serving his country in Qatar with the 1-138th Infantry Unit of the Missouri National Guard.

During its deployment, the 1-138th Infantry Unit partnered with Qatari forces that included the Qatari Military Police, Qatar Emiri Border Corps, and Qatari Land Forces. Their mission was to facilitate the use of Qatari ranges, hold key leader engagements, and increase the overall security posture for coalition forces in the country.

Captain Hicks left the U.S. last January, mobilized with his unit in support of Operation Spartan Shield. But on Thursday, December 7, 2017, Captain Hicks and his entire unit returned home. A ceremony in Kansas City was held at 3:00 p.m.

Heidi Hicks, Captain Hicks’ wife and Art Instructor at Bernard Campbell Middle School and Summit Lakes Middle School, says that “he is home for good, or until further notice.” Heidi and the three Hicks children, Amelia, Isabelle, and Henry, are very excited to reunite today with their dad – and just in time for Christmas!

The Lee’s Summit Fire Department, already staffed with local heroes, had two other members serving in Qatar with Captain Hicks. Craig Hill, with the Air Force Reserves, returned in July 2017, and 1st Sgt. Wes Blancet returned on Thursday along with Hicks.

Wishing these families, and all who have served or are currently serving, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!