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Hoosier Prepares Return To Bagdad

Last updated on Tuesday, April 24, 2007

(KOKOMO) - As several Indiana National Guard troops prepare to possibly go to Iraq by the end of the year, one Hoosier is on his way to work in Bagdad for a second time as a private contractor.

39-year-old Dean Hockney of Kokomo spent two years in Iraq working as a fuels operator for Kellogg, Brown, & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton. He returns to Bagdad this month to continue his work after spending a year at home.

Hockney, an Air Force veteran, says he initially got involved on the recommendation of a former military colleague looking to put together a team of experienced people. Hockney says it's his fondness and appreciation for the military lifestyle as well as the mission that draws him to return to the front line.

His family is supportive and understands his desire. Hockney says people who don't know him very well think he's crazy, but those who are close to him support his decision.

When asked his opinion on the war's portrayal by the media, Hockney says he understands their plight. The stories on the latest bombings and accidents are easy to get because the area is always extra secure after the event. Hockney says there is more danger involved when journalists stray away from secure areas to cover positive stories in Iraq.

Hockney worked for a weekly newspaper in Kokomo prior to his employment with KBR.

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