[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 151 (2005), Part 11]
[Senate]
[Page 15280]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]




                      ARMY SPECIALIST JULIE HICKEY

  Mr. DeWINE. Mr. President, as we approach the celebration of 
America's Independence Day, I am reminded of something that President 
Franklin D. Roosevelt once said about the ideals we hold dear. He said 
this: ``In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be 
achieved.''
  That was certainly true of our Founding Fathers when they established 
America's freedoms and independence over 225 years ago. And, it is 
still true today of the men and women in our military who are serving 
around the globe to achieve freedom in nations that have never, ever 
known it before.
  Today, I rise to recognize the contributions of an exceptional young 
woman whose mission it was to protect our freedom here at home and to 
promote its achievement abroad. I pay tribute to her now as we approach 
the Fourth of July--a date that is significant not just because she 
embodied the ideals it represents, but because it marks the anniversary 
of this brave young woman's death.
  Army SPC Julie R. Hickey, of Galloway, OH, died at Landstuhl Regional 
Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, on July 4, 2004, from diabetic 
complications. She was 20 years old.
  Julie Hickey was born on January 17, 1984. Growing up, she was a fun-
loving child with a gift for making friends. Her younger sister Rachel 
says that Julie was always the shoulder to cry on and also the person 
who wanted to make sure you had fun.
  Julie was very loyal and very protective of her friends. She was 5 
feet and 11 inches tall and built to shelter and stand up for them. 
Julie's friend, Audria Daniels, remembered a time when she was having a 
fight with an old boyfriend. Displaying the personal courage that would 
serve her so well in the Army, Julie stepped right into the middle of 
this particularly heated exchange and said, ``You can't talk to her 
like that.'' Even though the young man stood 6 foot 8, he quickly 
backed down. Looking back, it makes perfect sense that Julie would 
dedicate her life to standing up for others in need. She'd been doing 
it all her life.
  Julie attended Westland High School in Galloway, OH. During high 
school, she enlisted in the Army Reserves and completed the Civil 
Affairs Specialist Course at Fort Bragg, NC. She graduated from 
Westland High in 2002, and, wanting to earn money for college, she 
joined the Army Reserves. Julie had been planning to start school at 
The Ohio State University in the fall of 2003, but before she could 
realize that dream, Julie was called to serve in Operation Enduring 
Freedom.
  Julie was deployed to Afghanistan as a member of the 412th Civil 
Affairs Battalion, where she was assigned to the Provincial 
Reconstruction Team in Asadabad. As part of this team, she provided 
humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, particularly women and 
children in need. Seeing the unfair way that women were treated in 
Afghanistan, Julie again decided to stand up. During her time there, 
Julie gave impassioned speeches to women's organizations about how they 
needed to fight for their rights.
  Following one particular speech, Julie's mother, Melody, recalled 
this:

       One of the women came to see her afterward and told her 
     through an interpreter that it made them happy to see Julie 
     wearing pants and working beside men. She said it gave them 
     hope for the future.

  For women who had grown up in oppression, Julie Hickey was an 
inspiration--a hopeful example of what they, too, could be.
  Ask anyone who knew Julie Hickey, and they would tell you about her 
passion for her work. As her mother said:

       [Julie] loved her job. She spent some of her time working 
     at a medical clinic, where she assisted children. She would 
     teach them personal hygiene. She taught them a little 
     English--how to count from one to 10 and say ``Groovy, man!''

  Julie's work was direct--one-on-one with people--and she could see, 
firsthand, the good she was doing on the faces of the women and 
children with whom she worked. Julie was the type of ambassador that 
the United States depends on in our efforts to spread the great 
blessings of freedom and democracy in a part of the world still 
troubled by violence and fear.
  More than anyone, Julie's mother understood her commitment to serving 
others in the fight for freedom. She once said that Julie strongly 
believed that we need to ``appreciate everything [we] have. We have so 
much here just because we were born [in the United States].'' Julie 
never took this wonderful gift for granted. In fact, she spent her life 
paying it back through her service to others.
  Tragically, Julie's life of service was cut short by diabetes. 
Julie's mother said that their family has a history of diabetes, but 
that Julie hadn't been diagnosed with the illness before she left for 
Afghanistan. Even a preliminary medical exam didn't reveal anything 
abnormal. However, when Julie fainted at work one day, she was 
stabilized and moved to a hospital in Bagram. Only then and there was 
she diagnosed with diabetes.
  Julie Hickey was transferred to Landstuhl on June 30, 2004. She went 
into insulin shock and died on the Fourth of July--the day before she 
was to be sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
  The sudden nature of this tragedy struck all of Julie's friends and 
family. Her mother said that Julie was planning her wedding to another 
soldier and that she was going to be honorably discharged. According to 
Julie's family, one of the deepest disappointments is that Julie would 
never get to become a mother and have ``the children she longed for.'' 
Given the love and compassion she demonstrated all throughout her life, 
Julie clearly would have made a wonderful mother.
  Julie's awards hardly do justice to the full breadth and depth of her 
service. But, they do illustrate how special this young lady was. Her 
awards include the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the 
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the National Defense Service 
Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.
  While these awards are, indeed, impressive, there is, perhaps, a 
better symbol of Julie's service. On a 2-week leave in late May of 
2004, Julie brought home with her a burqa--the head-to-toe covering 
that many Afghani women wear. One of the women she had been working 
with gave this to her. Julie was buried with that burqa in her casket. 
It was a fitting reminder of the profound impact she had on the life of 
so many Afghan women.
  As Julie's mother Melody has said, it is, in some respects, fitting 
that Julie passed away on the day of our Nation's birth. On this July 
Fourth, let us remember Army SPC Julie Hickey's dedication to freedom 
and learn from this splendid 20 year old about what it truly means to 
be an American.

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