Local teen gets opportunity to meet his hero

New Pal student attends event in Florida where Bush spoke

NEW PALESTINE — David Hockett’s idea of a good time is watching and reading about the latest political happenings unfolding across the United States and the world.

It’s quite a meaty topic for Hockett, 17, a junior at New Palestine High School. But Hockett has always been kind of an older soul, he said.

“A lot of people my age are not into politics like I am,” he said. “I feel too civilized for my age sometimes.”

It’s why Hockett was thrilled earlier this spring when he had the opportunity to meet one of his political heroes, former President George W. Bush.

Hockett traveled to Orlando, Florida, to attend a fundraising event for International Cooperation Ministries, an organization that builds churches around the globe for countries in need, where Bush was the speaker.

Hockett’s grandfather, Mike Hockett, is on the ministry board and thought his grandson would enjoy hearing Bush speak, and he was right.

“I went around this corner and he was right there and I got to shake his hand and talk with him a little bit about politics,” Hockett said.

The former President was impressed with the teen who was dressed in a suit and tie.

“He commented on my suit and I looked him square in the eyes when I thanked him for his service,” Hockett said.

Hockett is a straight-A student who plans to study political science and pre-law in college with aspirations of going into politics.

He has always been an inquisitive and deep thinker, said mother Peggy Hockett.

Her son enjoys history and learning about the men and women who helped shape the world.

She thinks he gained his love of politics from his father, Keith Hockett, who always encouraged watching movies and documentaries about well-known historical figures.

“I have to say that this last political race sparked something in David that he probably didn’t even know was inside him,” his mother said.

While some teens may be more concerned about playing video games and their weekend plans, David Hockett has been consumed with government issues.

His passion is intense enough that he has, on occasion, irritated his siblings with his debates, his family said.

He’s constantly watching media shows, but also does an enormous amount of outside research on national topics to find the truth on issues, he said.

His mom, who accompanied him on the trip to Orlando, loved sharing the experience.

They enjoyed listening to Bush speak about his journey, including his failures, fears and even his redemption, and how important it was for him to serve others.

Because her son is such a kind person, Peggy Hockett said she used to think the cruel political world would be too much for her son to handle, but as he’s grown and matured over the past few years, she now thinks he has a bright political future.

“It makes me proud to see him so passionate about this country and its future,” she said.

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Kristy Deer is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3262 or kdeer@greenfieldreporter.com.