Micah was born July 14, 1983 in Brownwood, Texas, the son of Joe Bill and Linda Schoening-Sparks. He moved to Cody with his mother and two siblings in the spring of 1989. Micah attended Glen Livingston Elementary School and Park Christian School, graduating in 2001.
Micah was trained in Tae Kwon Do under the direction of Dr. Stephen and Bonnie Emery at Eagle Spirit Academy. Naturally gifted in martial arts, he was selected to compete in the U.S. Junior Olympics at the ages of 15 and 16, earning double gold medals in forms and sparring. He also won numerous gold medals in various other competitions.
Following graduation from high school, Micah and his brother Aaron enlisted in the U.S. Army. He graduated from basic training at Fort Sill, Okla. A member of the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, N.Y., he received three weeks training before deploying to Iraq.
Micah was chosen to be a gunner on his Humvee and also was a sniper in his unit. Within five months of his deployment, his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device at the battle of Fallujah. Although the Humvee was a twisted mess of metal, Micah received the only injuries. Shrapnel penetrated his femur and came within a millimeter of severing his femoral artery. After receiving battlefield first aid, he was airlifted to Baghdad and later transported to the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. He endured eight ear surgeries and three surgeries to removed shrapnel from his body. He was later diagnosed with severe post traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury. He was awarded the Purple Heart by General Peter Chiarelli. Micah also received the Army Commendation Medal; with two bronze oak leaf clusters, the Presidential Unit Citation Medal, the Overseas Service Medal and the Iraqi Campaign Medal.
Micah is survived by his mother Linda Sparks of Cody; his father Joe Bill Sparks of Santo, Texas; his brother Aaron William (Melissa) Sparks of Lewisville, Texas; sister Peggy Rebekah (Nick Griesemer) Sparks of Santa Maria, Calif.; his grandfathers William V. Schoening of Cody, Frank Sparks of Santo, Texas; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends.
Micah was preceded in death by his grandmothers Betty Jean Schoening and Syble Sparks.
Those wishing to make memorial donations may do so In Honor of Micah for the Wounded Warriors, c/o Mickey Joiner, 813 37th Street, Cody, WY 82414.
Funeral services for Micah will be Friday, Dec. 28, at 2 p.m. at Grace Baptist Church in Cody. Interment will follow with the VFW Post 2673 Honor Guard presenting military honors at Riverside Cemetery. Following a late luncheon at the church fellowship hall, there will be a candlelight vigil at Grace Baptist Church for those who can stay.
An online memorial is available at www.ballardfh.com.