Eagle Scout, Army Man
Toms Brook Teen Headed To Basic Training One Week After Ceremony
TOMS BROOK — November has proved a busy month for 18-year-old Dustin Hockman.
At a ceremony on Sunday, he became an Eagle Scout — Scouting’s highest rank — and on Monday, he leaves for basic training with the Army Reserves.
The Strasburg High graduate said he chose the Army mainly as a route to an affordable college education.
“If I like it, I might do a couple of years of active duty,” he said.
Hockman has been involved with the organization since he was 6 years old.
“I had fun with it,” he said, citing camping trips in Gore as among his favorite memories.
When it came time to choose an Eagle Scout project, the Toms Brook resident didn’t have to look too far from home.
Already a volunteer with the Toms Brook Fire Department, he decided the announcement sign outside the station could use some improvement.
It took him nearly four months to construct the new brick foundation that now holds the sign firmly in place.
The old sign, Hockman said, was much less stable, and sat on metal legs.
The project allowed him to involve masonry, in which he took vocational classes at Triplett Business and Technical Institute in Mount Jackson his junior and senior years.
Hockman also competed in and won several masonry competitions. During his senior year he won the regional and state contests and placed fifth in a national competition.
When he returns from basic training, he plans to attend Universal Technical Institute in Pennsylvania and study auto tech and diesel mechanics. The location will make his monthly pilgrimages to Chambersberg, Pa., for Army Reserve training less cumbersome.
Hockman said he is “a little nervous,” but mostly excited about his departure on Monday.
Hockman and his mother, Cindy Hockman, have lived in Toms Brook for five years. Prior to that they lived in Strasburg.
Contact Kaitlin Mayhew at 574-6290 or firstname.lastname@example.org