Since 1987, Budweiser Guns ‘N Hoses has honored fallen heroes by bringing together local firefighters and police officers for an evening of boxing and support for BackStoppers. Since that first ring of the bell, Guns ‘N Hoses has raised $7.6 million for BackStoppers and has achieved record-breaking crowds. Thanksgiving Eve holds a special meaning for families of the fallen. This is especially true for the family of Chief Jerry Hicks, Sr., who died in the line of duty on December 4, 2011.
For the last eight years, Jerry Hicks, Jr. and his four children and their spouses attend Guns ‘N Hoses and partake in their own traditions. The day begins as soon as they head towards the Enterprise Center where they share memories of Chief Hicks. Upon arriving the family takes a group photo to commemorate another year of Guns ‘N Hoses. The beginning of the evening starts with the Ten Count, a somber moment for everyone to pay respect to the first responders that lost their lives in the line of duty. Jerry Hicks, Jr. shares how emotions run high during this part of the night, “The tears come when the Ten Count takes place. We cry not only for our dad, but for all those that gave their all.”
Guns ‘N Hoses takes place in a time of year that the Hicks family chooses to remember the life of Chief Hicks. “Our family uses Guns ‘N Hoses to honor him because it would have been only four days following Thanksgiving when he had the tragic car wreck that claimed his life. The reason we don’t pick his birthday, or any other time of the year is because holidays are painful enough, but Thanksgiving was the last holiday we were all together before that tragic event.” Reminiscing on memories, taking photos and coming together as a family is what Guns ‘N Hoses means for the Hicks family. “The main tradition is taking our group picture and the time we spend as a family. We know that is what he would want us to do.”
“The mission of BackStoppers is amazing and helps you get a chance to come to terms with the loss. I was able to lean on them for an ear or shoulder to cry on. I want to personally thank BackStoppers for the support and understanding during our time of need, and for inviting us to attend Guns ‘N Hoses which means so much to us every year.”
Remembering the life and sacrifice of Chief Hicks and all fallen first responders in our coverage area by serving the loved ones left behind is an honor. By attending Budweiser Guns ‘N Hoses, you are helping to ensure that families of fallen first responders will never be forgotten.