Robert L Chick
Castle Rock, Washington
April 3, 2020
Served 2 tours in Afghanistan
SSgt. Chick served as an Infantryman for 5 years during which time he deployed twice to Afghanistan. SSgt. Chick's awards include the Afghanistan Campaign Medal W/2 Campaign Stars, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal 14th Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon 2nd Award, and the NATO Medal. SSgt. Chick was Honorably Discharged in April of 2015.
|From the Daily News tdn.com 04/07/20
'He would be there in a heartbeat': Family, friends mourn Robert Chick
Alex Bruell Apr 7, 2020
Family and friends of a Castle Rock man who died after capsizing while kayaking at Silver Lake on Friday remembered him as an honest and trustworthy friend who loved hunting, fishing and, above all else, the people in his life.
“He was a great older brother,” Juan Chick said of his brother Robert Chick on Monday. “He’d knock you around when you needed it, and crack a beer with you when you did something you were proud of. He always held everybody in high respect. If you needed help, you’d give him a call and he’d be there right on the spot.”
Chick and Stephanie Green of Kelso capsized while kayaking on Silver Lake Friday evening, the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday. Green called 911 while staying afloat with her kayak, but Chick disappeared from sight. Cowlitz Fire District 3 personnel launched a boat and rescued Green that evening.
Officials continued searching for Chick over the weekend. On Sunday, a citizen contacted the Cowlitz Dive Rescue team with information he noted on his sonar while on Silver Lake. The dive team deployed along with a sheriff’s office boat and recovered a body they believe to be Chick.
The Cowlitz County Coroner has not yet officially confirmed Chick’s cause and manner of death nor the body’s identity to TDN, but family and friends confirmed in interviews that “there was no question” the body is Chick’s.
His brother took great pride in serving his country in the U.S. Army, too, Chick said. Family and friends said Robert Chick served eight years in active duty, including two tours of duty, and most recently was in the National Guard as a staff sergeant.
Ashley Deyo, a former classmate who dated Chick for two years, called him a “jack of all trades” who cared about his friends and family more than anything in the world.
“He would have done anything for any of us,” Deyo said. “You could just tell him, ‘I think I need this,’ and he would be there in a heartbeat.”
Chick’s friend Colton Crimmins called him a “very honorable man” who would do anything for the ones he cared about.
Chick was featured in 2009 as one of TDN’s Standout Graduates that year. He was a lover of science, hunting, writing and the trumpet.
“Kids always really respected Robert,” Castle Rock High School Principal Jenny Risner said in the 2009 article. “He’s just a great, well-rounded individual.”
Limhi Blackburn, who grew up across the street from Chick and served in the Army with him, said Chick was the glue that held his friends together. There were at least five boats trying to find Chick after he capsized, and more than 100 people on the docks trying to see how they could help, Blackburn said — “a testament” to how much people cared about him.
“He’d be over at your house whether you needed him to help you with some yard work or to crack open a beer,” Blackburn said. “He never minced words with anybody. … You never had to worry about what Robert was thinking, because he would tell you straight up. (He was the) most open-minded, caring person on the planet. … He’s going to be missed by everyone who knew him, … which is the entire town of Castle Rock.”
Friends and family are currently waiting on services for Chick due to the coronavirus pandemic.
For some memorial service snapshots, click photo below for a YouTube Slideshow
September 20, 2020
|From the Daily News tdn.com 06/02/09
Standout Grad: Castle Rock's Robert Chick has no time for stereotypes
By Barbara LaBoe Jun 2, 2009
obert Chick isn’t easily described. Call the accomplished trumpeter a band geek and he’s ready with “Oh, yeah? Did you get $83,000 for school?”
When he’s not playing, though, Robert is most likely found outdoors hunting, fishing or camping. Or working on the truck he’s restored. Or playing with his boxer Axle, named for the part of his truck he was fixing when he got the dog.
He loves science “because every day you learn something new,” and he may pursue that for a career. His favorite class, though, is speech and creative writing because of the hands-on and unusual assignments.
“In today’s society people think they can only do one thing and they have to fit into this perfect little box,” said band director John Veltkamp, who has known Robert since fourth grade. “Robert doesn’t fit into the box — he fits into all the boxes. .. He wants to do everything. He goes mudding in his pickup. He’s a marksman and loves rifles and he loves good music.” He also has a 3.7 grade point average.
Robert even likes the trumpet because of its wide range. “There’s so much you can do,” he said. “You can go as low as a tuba and as high as a flute.”
So it’s only fitting that Robert has found a way to combine several loves into his post-graduation plans.
He’ll join the Army June 17 and ship out to boot camp. Military service is a family tradition, and in tough economic times a guaranteed job, salary and benefits makes sense, Robert said. The $83,000 in Army college assistance doesn’t hurt either.
He won’t be just any new recruit.
After a three-hour audition, Robert qualified for assignment to one of the Army bands, and so will continue his love of music even while donning fatigues. He’ll also start out at a higher rank and pay scale as part of his recruitment bonuses.
“It’s a musician’s dream to be in a military band,” Veltkamp raves. “It’s a golden opportunity because your level of playing is going to go up dramatically because that’s your main focus and you’re going to have incredible training.”
Robert hopes to be assigned to a jazz band, saying he enjoys the “movey-groovy upbeat” music.
While he has his future planned out, Robert’s past wasn’t always easy.
He doesn’t know his biological father, and his step-father is incarcerated and no longer part of the family. Robert has lived with his maternal grandparents for the past six years after the rest of his family moved to California and he didn’t want to leave Castle Rock. (His mother and younger siblings have since returned and he sees them nearly daily, Robert said).
“I’ve seen him rise above a lot of obstacles in his life,” Veltkamp said.
“He works hard at whatever he does, and that’s what makes him successful,” Principal Jenny Risner said. “He’s faced some challenges, but he’s really overcome them by staying committed to his band and really valuing the importance of his education.”
Aside from band, Robert tended to pursue his outdoor activities for most of high school. This year, though, he made a concentrated effort to get more involved.
“My grandpa always said ‘Don’t settle for less than you can give,’ and time was running out,” he said of high school activities. So Robert dove in head first.
He’s president of the trap shoot club, a member of FFA, the associated student body treasurer, and a member of the CRHS pep and jazz bands and the Lower Columbia College honors band. He also was student liaison to the Castle Rock School Board, giving the board regular updates on student activities and events.
“Kids always really respected Robert, but this year there’s been a new respect for him in the confidence he’s gained by branching out and taking leadership roles,” Risner said. “He’s just a great, well-rounded individual.”
Robert Chick, Castle Rock High School
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