Sunday, April 25, 2010

Patrick Eugene Hickey 11/22/1924 -04/25/2010 - At Peace in Christ

Presidential Unit Citation w/2 Bronze Stars
Navy Unit Commendation w/ 4 Bronze Stars
Asiatic–Pacific Campaign Streamer w/1 Silver Star
World War II Victory Streamer





My brother Kevin called a little before 5AM to let me know that Dad had gone home to Christ. He was a tough man.

Things will not be so tough on him now, as he is in great company.


When things went very badly for my Dad I wrote this - it is not near enough, but will do for today.

Presidential Unit Citation w/2 Bronze Stars
Navy Unit Commendation w/ 4 Bronze Stars
Asiatic–Pacific Campaign Streamer w/1 Silver Star
World War II Victory Streamer

My brother called and told me that my sister had taken my Dad to Palos Hospital ER.

That morning, my Dad told my brother that he had 'kind of a stomach ache.' My Mom was in a rehabilitation facility in Palos Park, following a knee replacement. Mom swims and walks and her muscle tone is great. Dad has been without his girl for about a week and we thought maybe his stomach issues were concern.

Like most of the Irish and especially men of his generation, Dad believes that if one avoids doctors, one is well.

Not the case. Dad had a blocked colon and it had ruptured - probably days before. Dr. Kanashira, a beautiful Japanese American woman and his doctor, questioned Dad, 'How could you stand the agony?' With his usual understatement he replied, " I'm a Marine."

He is that. I learned from Dick Prendergast ( Leo '43) about ten years ago, just how much of a Marine this man is - They went into the Corps together at 17 years of age. My daughter Clare has a picture of my Dad, Dick Prendergast and the late Dick Burke, a Chicago Fire Captain as young tough Marines on Guadalcanal before Guam. They are skinny and hard looking eighteen year olds. Dad had just come back from Bougainville.

Dad was court-martialed for being AWOL after Boot Camp. He went home on liberty, but his train back to San Diego was side-barred. He was late getting back; court-martial ed and offered the choice of Navy prison or the Solomon Islands. He chose the later.

Without basic infantry training, Dad was sent to Guadalcanal in September of 1943 and trained as a machine gunner with veterans of that battle. He was assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines of the 3rd Marine Division. He went to Bougainville in November, 1943 and fought there.

Dick Prendergast trained to be a Signal Corps officer with Joint Assault Signal Companies and arrived on Guadalcanal in 1944. He and my Dad met up again and Dick learned why Hickey went overseas and was veteran. . . .Please God, give him baseball at Billy Smith Field on 79th Street, smooch and hug time with his girl Ginny, play with his grandchildren and big icy pitchers of Keeley's Half and Half ( hi favorite beer of all time - that and 'whatever you got') in the company of Donny, Bud, Jack, Bart, Sy and Mike his brothers; candy with Joan, Nonnie, Margarite, Mary, and Kathleen his sisters - his favorite and Irish twin Helen is still with us thank God; pay-back breakfasts with my wife Mary, hugs from his mother Nora and eternal peace with father Lawrence - with whom he never seemed to get along. He's earned this.

He has been up many hills and trails in the jungle, let him have smooth path to Christ.

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