1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
Operation Iraqi Freedom
1st Battalion Soldier on the cover of TIME magazine
SPC Cody Hoefer, the driver for
Battalion Commander LTC Steve Russell,
was featured on the cover of TIME magazine, issue of March 15, 2004.
In the words of his Battalion
"he does the Regiment proud."
TIME magazine March 15, 2004
Montana soldier lands on Time
By MIKE STARK
Of The Gazette Staff
Bill Hoefer almost didn't answer the telephone Sunday morning.
He figured it was a sales call and he didn't want to be bothered on the weekend.
But he's glad he picked up. On the other end, a spokesman for Time magazine told him that Ballantine native Cody Hoefer
was going to be featured on the cover of the upcoming edition, which hits newsstands today.
"He asked if that was my relative and I almost couldn't speak," Hoefer said Sunday evening. "I said, 'Yes, I'm his dad.' "
The photo shows Army Spc. Cody Hoefer's 6-foot-7 frame decked out in full military gear, ready for action. The photo was taken in Tikrit, Iraq.
Magazine officials said it's the first time that a Montanan has been featured on Time's cover.
Hoefer said it's fitting that Cody's image appears with a story about the conflict in Iraq. Cody has been there since April
as a weapons specialist with the Army's 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry of the 4th Infantry Division.
"I think the photographer could see he's the epitome of the American soldier," said Hoefer, a heavy equipment operator.
"His mom says he was born with camouflage on."
A 2000 Huntley Project graduate who participated in football and track, Cody Hoefer, 21, joined the National Guard at 17
and transferred to active Army duty in 2003. Five weeks later, he was in Iraq.
"He wanted to go to Iraq to make America safer for his little sister," his dad said.
It's been an eventful year for his son. Although he's unable to provide specifics to his family about his duties in Iraq, Bill Hoefer knows a few basics.
His son was there when Saddam Hussein emerged from his "spider hole" on Dec. 13 and has been serving as the personal guard and driver
for Lt. Col. Steve Russell, commander of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry, according to Hoefer.
"He is definitely in the middle of the action. It's the real stuff," Hoefer said.
His son has been stationed primarily in Tikrit, where he and other soldiers have been sleeping in Saddam Hussein's former palace, he said.
Hoefer said his son and other soldiers were interviewed and photographed by Time several months ago.
A few photos emerged from that session and Hoefer said no one thought any more of it - until Sunday.
"It's been quite a day," the proud dad said. "I can't wait to see it."
Bill Hoefer said he planned to buy a single copy of the magazine today and then wait for the 60 copies that Time promised to send overnight.
Those copies will go to friends and family, which include Cody's mother Dawn; 13-year-old sister Tillie; his girlfriend, Jenny Binkowski;
and Chloe, the 2-month-old daughter he hasn't met yet.
Hoefer's dad said communication with his son has been spotty recently and primarily limited to e-mail.
He wasn't sure if his son knew yet that he would be featured on the magazine's cover.
Soon enough, though, the family will get his reaction in person. He's scheduled to return home later this month -
likely in time for his 22nd birthday on March 26 - for a brief visit.
After that, he'll likely be back in the thick of things.
"He eats, sleeps and breathes military," Hoefer said.
Bill and Dawn Hoefers son Cody, a soldier in Iraq, is pictured on the cover of the current issue of Time magazine.
The Hoefers and their daughter Tillie, 13, talk Sunday about the Time cover at the family home in Ballantine.
LARRY MAYER/Gazette staff
Copyright © The Billings Gazette, a division of Lee Enterprises.
Montana soldier featured on
cover of Time magazine
By GRAHAM UNDERWOOD of the Associated Press
HELENA - This week's Time magazine cover features a Montana soldier serving in Iraq.
The photo of Army Spc. Cody J. Hoefer, 21, of Ballantine, was taken several months ago in Tikrit.
The article deals with war strategies of President Bush and Democratic hopeful John Kerry.
Time spokesman Ty Trippet said Hoefer's photo was selected for its visual appeal. The magazine is expected at newsstands Monday.
"That was really something," said Hoefer's father, Bill, who was playing with his son's 2-month-old daughter Sunday when the magazine called.
"We've had some kind of day."
Hoefer said his only son, a 2000 Huntley Project graduate who ran track and played on the high school's championship football team,
joined the National Guard at 17. As a guardsman, Cody Hoefer participated in tasks such as helping control wildfires before transferring to active duty.
"That was his goal," said Bill Hoefer, a heavy equipment operator from Ballantine, east of Billings. "He wanted to go to Iraq.
He made the comment he was going to Iraq to make the world a better place for his little sister."
Relatives haven't been able to speak with the soldier for several days because of bombed lines,
so Bill Hoefer said they haven't heard what he thinks of making Time's cover.
Hoefer said his son, a member of the 4th Infantry Division, is tentatively scheduled to return to Fort Hood, Texas, for a visit on March 23 -
the soldier's 22rd birthday.
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