As regular readers of this blog know, we have been sharing the story and letters of Fred Hockett. Fred is a recruiting leader from Michigan who was called to active duty in January and is currently serving in Iraq. I have talked previously about Fred and I admire his leadership, recruiting knowledge, courage and commitment to his country. He is a great guy and I want to continue to share his story with our readers.
Before I share Fred's latest letter, written on June 17th, I want to point out that at the end of his recent communication he indicates he is open to answering any questions (that he can without jeopardizing himself, his men/women or the mission) that you might have. If you have any questions send them to me via email at email@example.com and I will be sure to pass them along to Fred and we will post your question and his answer in a future post.
Also, if you want to follow Fred via his own blog there is a lot more information and detail there. The blog was primarily set up for his family and friends to keep up with him, his activities and just generally know what is going on. It is a great blog and I encourage you to check it out.
Without further ado, here is Fred's latest letter!
I'm sorry about the delay in writing you. We've been moving at a pretty rapid pace here, and as you can imagine I've been doing everything to just keep in contact with family. It's surprising how quickly time passes. I'm almost at 4 months in theater. Things are still very challenging, but rewarding. The easiest task is made very difficult due to proximity to logistics. Needless to say we don't have a Home Depot to go to when we can to do a room renovation. I find myself working on that type of thing most often, coordinating logistics. It's a great deal of fun.
As you are probably reading in the paper things are quieting down. The Iraqi military and police have undertaken several operations in the area to quell the violence and they are doing a pretty good job. Our teams are out working with them on a regular basis and we have people coordinating with the Ministries all the time. We all continue to see progress every day... most of it is the tangible, physical progress: Construction projects, new roads, graduating police officers, etc. It's the other, less tangible, results that are even more encouraging: the coaching and mentoring going on, people "getting it" after working very hard to understand our methods, Iraqis taking the lead on operations. These are the critical bricks in our path home.
I'm very excited about my vacation in August. My dad, brother and I will be heading out for a guys weekend. I'm also attending the wedding of a friend in Kalamazoo and visiting other friends in Chicago. After I return here, I'm down to 4 months left and I return to states in January. Crazy how time flies.
I'll close for now, but if you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them. My job is a lot of different things, but nothing really exciting enough to write about. It would be boring if there wasn't so much of it. :) Have a great day and I look forward to visiting while I'm at home.