Not all Hoosiers who served our country following the 9-11 attacks did so as military service members.
Kokomo resident Dean Hockney turned 34-years-old on September 11th, 2001.
As an Air Force veteran, Hockney knew the military would be involved in some sort of response following the attacks and tried to re-enlist, but the recruiter told him no because of a medical disability.
A friend later told Hockney of an opportunity to work overseas for Kellogg, Brown, & Root (KBR), a Texas-based company contracted to run the Army's logistical operations in Afghaistan and Iraq.
"I got on their website and 2 hours later the recruiter for KBR said, 'is your resume accurate?'" says Hockney. "I said yes and he says when can you come to Houston because we would like to send you over seas. we've got positions open for you."
Hockney spent the next 5 and a half years embedded with the U.S. Army as a civilian contract employee.
"I lived with the soldiers. We ate in their chow halls, used their gyms," Hockney says. "when I had to transport around Iraq I flew on their helicopters or I was in their convoys. We were a direct contractor with the army."
Hockney says he feels good about the experience and the work that he did during his time there.
District 30 State Representative Mike Karickoff surprised Hockney Thursday with the Distinguished Hoosier Award from Governor Daniels, given to him in recognition of his service as a civilian.