In observance of Veterans Day, Cove held its annual Veterans Day assembly on Friday, November 11. This year, US Army Captain Carrie Hoza came to Cove to share her story about her tour in the 2004 Iraq war.
Ms. Hoza joined the ROTC at her father’s suggestion while she was in college. She attended Carroll College, and was crossed enrolled with Marquette’s ROTC program. At the time she graduated, she was also commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and went on to active duty, living in Virginia, South Korea, and El Paso, Texas.
After leaving the Army, she worked for Harley-Davidson as a supervisor in their machine shop in Wisconsin. Three years into her civilian life, she was abruptly called back to duty and deployed to Iraq within four days!
Captain Hoza described the difficult living conditions in Iraq. She began her assignment with a platoon of over 20 men. She was responsible for supervising the convoys that would haul and deliver JP8 jet fuel throughout the region to be used for planes and helicopters. Beginning their journey in Tikrit, they lived together uncomfortably for a month in a single tent as they awaited the trucks that would eventually make up their convoy. Meal lines were long, phone calls were next to impossible, and the sand got into everything!
Eventually, her platoon moved within the Sunni Triangle into somewhat better conditions living inside of a giant warehouse. Captain Hoza found the smallest creature comforts a pleasure after her month in the tent. She and her fellow platoon members spent the next year traveling across the desserts and crowded cities to deliver fuel. They witnessed long desolate stretches of arid land, as well as lush foliage along the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. The children were always cheerful and happy to see the soldiers and often begged for attention along the roads. It was a long and difficult year away from family, but she became very close to her male platoon members with whom she developed life-long friendships.
Finally, she came back and rejoined the civilian world. She found her way to the family business, and works side by side with her father, Phil Hoza, who also served as an Army Captain during the Vietnam war. Both Ms. Hoza and her father rose to the rank of Captain in the US Army, but her father is quick to remind her who has more Time-in-Grade.
We are so grateful for Captain Hoza's story, and her service to our country.