by Tiffany Hyman
Loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. These are just a few values Wheatfield native Alan Dikcis held during his time at Fort Drum in Watertown.
President Barack Obama will honor those values this week when he meets with the Dikcis family, and other families of Fort Drum soldiers killed in action.
Dikcis was killed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, after enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an explosive device on March 5, 2010. He was a specialist in the 630th Engineer Company, 7th Engineer Battalion of the 20th Engineer Brigade. Dikcis' dream was to make a career as a helicopter mechanic. The 22-year-old was scheduled to come home for leave in April 2010 and permanently that June. The 2006 graduate of Niagara-Wheatfield High School left behind a 4-year-old daughter, Sophia.
Since his death, the Dikcis family has attended various memorials honoring Spc. Dikcis.
On Thursday, the family traveled to Watertown to participate in a Gold Star Remembrance. The remembrance reflects on the lives of fallen soldiers who gave their lives for our country and allows families to grieve together. To her surprise, Dikcis' stepmother, Gigi, received a call on Tuesday from Fort Drum that President Obama will meet her and the family at the ceremony.
"It's sad," said Gigi. "It would have been nice to meet the president under different circumstances."
Gigi said the remembrance is an event for the whole family. In addition to meeting the president and participating in the Gold Star ceremony, there will be a "fun fest." The fest will include games and activities for the entire family to enjoy.
"We're joining together (once again) to celebrate Al's life," said Gigi.