US troops who have died in Iraq and Kuwait

AP News
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Posted: Apr 14, 2011 11:02 AM
US troops who have died in Iraq and Kuwait

?Army Cpl. Brandon S. Hocking

The summer before he died, Brandon Hocking told a military writer how much he enjoyed his job at a base in southern Iraq where he fixed weapons for the Army.

"My favorite part about this job is learning different weapons systems," Hocking said in an Army public affairs report. "There's always something new to learn so I can be better at my job."

At the time, he also helping put together a team that could travel and repair weapons, according to The Seattle Times.

Hocking, 24, of Seattle, died March 21 after his unit was attacked in Samawah. He enlisted in the Army in November 2005, and was assigned to Fort Stewart.

His family said Hocking, who was on his second tour of duty in Iraq, had been scheduled to return home at the end of March.

His sister Brianna Hocking told the Times that he was a small-arms repair specialist and also served as a convoy gunner. The two exchanged messages via Facebook while he was deployed, and last communicated in the weeks before his death.

"I told him to stay safe, and he told me, `Don't worry. I love you, and I will be home soon,'" Hocking said.

Hocking attended Federal Way and Decatur high schools before enlisting and enjoyed fixing old cars, sketching and playing guitars.

He leaves behind his wife, Havalah Hocking; 4-year-old son, Sebastian Hocking; and 3-year-old daughter, Gwen.