A soldier from Greer was killed in an enemy attack in Afghanistan on Friday, according to the Department of Defense.
Officials said 24-year-old Sgt. Channing Hicks was killed when his unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device in Paktika province. They said the unit also took small arms fire.
As a young boy, Hicks was known for his crazy curly red hair and his passion for sports. He kept up with those sports as he grew up. He played football for Greer High School before he graduated in 2006. He was also a father of two children ages 6 and 7 years old.
"He loved his kids, he didn't get to see them a lot because he was gone or stationed in Kansas. So he didn't get to come home a whole lot, but he loved his kids and family," said Hicks' uncle, Alan Donald.
His relatives told FOX Carolina Sunday the long time spent away from family was a sacrifice he bravely gave to serve our country. Being in the army was something he knew he was meant to do - he even asked his mom to let him enlist before he was 18. She didn't agree, however, so he began his military career when he turned 18.
"It's just something he always wanted to do, he wanted to serve his country and do something worthwhile," said Donald.
Family says Hicks served two tours in Iraq before his current tour in Afghanistan. He had planned to make military service a career, but Friday his loved ones got the bad news.
"I was in shock, I just talked to him a couple of weeks ago, I'm definitely in a state of shock," said Donald. "It took a bit for it to really set in that happened."
Hicks' grandmother, aunt and uncle told FOX Carolina they were able to see him the last time he was home to visit several months ago. They said they hope his story serves as message to the community - the war is real and still raging.
"You don't realize that it's still going on over there like it is until something like this happens this close," said Donald. "Personally, I think they ought to be at home."
Also killed in the attack was 23-year-old Spc. Joseph Richardson, of Arkansas.
Hicks and Richardson were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, KS.
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