Family serves together in 2nd Infantry Division
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — In the lobby of a building known as Freeman Hall, located on a U.S. military base known as Camp Red Cloud, two officers approach each other.
Even though they are not far from the Demilitarized Zone in a country that for more than 60 years has the potential of war to cast a shadow across its land, this meeting starts in hugs and smiles.
One thing is clear; this is a family
reunion for two officers; a mother and her son.
For Capt. Kenya Wicks, from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade as officer in charge of personnel and administration, and 2nd Lt. Courtney D. Wicks,
assigned to Company A, 70th Brigade Support Battalion, 210th Fires Brigade, this was their first
face-to-face meeting since Courtney arrived in country.
Their story starts in 1992, when Kenya was faced with the difficult decision of how to support her family.
She was a young, single mother and her options were limited but she was determined to provide a future for her only child at the time, Courtney.
“I am very proud of her because she kept pushing when she was doing it by herself,” Courtney said.
“She set the example of how to carry yourself when nobody is able to help you.”
After reviewing her options, she decided to enlist into the U.S. Army. Coming in as a private first
class, she progressed to the rank of sergeant first class earning a degree in Restaurant Hospitality Management from the University of Alabama.
Also, she earned the respect of a general officer she worked for. That experience provided her an opportunity to become a commissioned officer through the direct select program.
“I consider myself a ‘go-getter’ and ‘self-starter,’” said Kenya. “I made it to the rank of sergeant first
class and wanted new challenges.”
For Courtney, who grew up watching his mom succeed in the Army and experiencing the Army’s
value-centered culture, the idea of entering the military himself began during high school. While
he initially only took advantage of his high school’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program to receive physical training credits for graduation, it soon represented something else to him.
“I found I really enjoyed (the Army) and the values that it stands for,” said Courtney. “It has
allowed me to do the things I have been able to do in my life. Also, just seeing everything my mom
went through as a single parent, the push she gave, and everything she stood for, and all the hard work. It made me want to continue doing it and also to make her proud.”
After receiving a commission himself, he was assigned to the 70th BSB and quickly excelled; he volunteered to become his company’s voting assistant officer and air load officer in the process.
“I am very proud of my son. I have watched him mature from a boy into a fine officer,” said Kenya.
“I was proud of him at ROTC but I am really proud of the go-getter attitude that he has and that he does not let anything deter him from getting the mission accomplished.”
The values he learned from his mother’s go-getter example and the desire to make those he cared
about proud became the driving force behind his will to succeed. As his mother’s son, success during his career in the Army is not enough. He is already looking ahead to the challenges he will face in civilian life when his Army career is over.
“It is important to succeed because when I do get out the military it will enable me to use the skills I
learned in various areas within corporate America and also just to make everybody that saw me growing up in life proud,” said Courtney.
Eventually, Kenya’s and Courtney’s career paths will cause them to part again as Kenya goes on
to retire and Courtney takes his next military assignment.
Until then, their family will get to spend some quality time together in the land of the morning calm sharing a common mission and love for each other.