A Pee Dee mother says she cried all night after hearing the news that Osama bin Laden (http://www.defense.gov/) had been killed.
Theresa Hicks, 66, of Pageland, SC (http://pagelandcham.net/) is the mother of one of the first South Carolinians killed in the War on Terror eight years ago.
Hicks spent time Monday afternoon at the Pageland community park in Chesterfield County - visiting a memorial to her son.
O n March 23, 2003, Staff Sergeant Jason Hicks, 25, was killed in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden's death fell on what would have been Jason's 34th birthday.
"At first, there were tears of joy that justice had been done, then I held a guilt trip, that here I was rejoicing over someone else's death. Then you think back at what all had taken place," said Theresa Hicks.
Jason was in his second tour of duty in Afghanistan with the Air Force's (http://www.airforce.com/) Combat, Search and Rescue unit when his plane crashed killing all 6 on board.
He was a flight engineer with the Air Force's 41st Rescue Squadron.
The airman had been in the military since he was 19 years old. He joined a few months after graduating from Central High School (http://www.chesterfield.k12.sc.us/centralhigh/centralhigh.html) in Chesterfield County. (http://www.chesterfieldcountysc.com/)
Hicks says the last time she saw her son was Christmas Day 2002 and she says they were talking about the war and he made a statement about his deployment to Afghanistan.
"If anything happens to old Jay Boy, he's doing exactly what he wants to do," said Hicks.
She says her son died doing what he wanted to do.
She doubted she would ever see the day when bin laden was no longer a threat.
"No I never thought he would ever been captured because from what I am told, there were so many caves in Pakistan, Afghanistan and all of those places he could be hiding," said Hicks.
She says even though she had her concerns about Osama bin Laden being found and killed, she doesn't question why it took so long. Hicks says she believes everything happens in its own time.
Theresa and those closest to the airman believe he's dancing in heaven now that the world's number one terrorist is gone and buried at sea.
"I think jason is rejoicing today and that we got that rascal," said Hicks.
Hicks' close friend, Chief Larry Brown of Pageland Police (http://www.usacops.com/sc/p29728/index.html), when he heard news of bin Laden's killing, he thought about his dear friend.
"Jason would be so excited he would probably up there dancing around now saying we got him, we got him, we got him. I was there, but they just didn't see me," said Brown.
And like September 11th, 2001, Theresa Hicks says May 1st, 2011 is forever etched in her mind.
"May 1st,2011 will be the same, we have a another milestone, " said Hicks.
There will be a 5-K run walk benefiting the Jason Hicks Memorial Scholarship fund. it takes place May 28th in Pageland.
It takes place at Pageland Community Center and Conbraco Park.
So far, eight students have received scholarship money in Hicks' name.
This year's recipient has been accepted into a pilot program with the US Air Force.
You can mail in your completed registration form along with a check for the registration donation to:
SSgt Jason Hicks Memorial Scholarship Fund
19573 Angelus Road
Jefferson, SC 29718
The scholarship fund is established as a 501 (c) (3) (http://www.501c3.org/) Non-Profit, so all registration donations are tax deductible.