Marine Determined To Win Heart, Mind Of At Least One Iraqi
BAGHDAD—Despite several failed attempts to secure the popular support of the Iraqi people, Lance Cpl. David Hoekner told reporters Monday that he remains committed to his personal goal of winning the heart and mind of at least one Iraqi citizen before his tour ends in July. "I figure I can definitely charm a kid into liking me," said Hoekner, who had been gaining ground in his rapport with the Iraqi people until a December firefight that resulted in 24 civilian casualties. "I always carry extra chocolate bars and a soccer ball when I'm out on patrol, and I've even learned a few words in Arabic. Mark my words, there will be one little Iraqi boy who will think of the United States as the Great Liberator by the time I leave." Hoekner has set several additional goals for himself while still on duty, including driving a MIA2 Abrams battle tank, killing top al-Qaeda officer Abu Ayyub al-Masri, and trying falafel.