Dean Lischke joined the Marine Corps in 1990 after deciding to hold off on going to college. He didn’t want to follow the rest of the family and go into business. Even after already being accepted into Babson, he decided it wasn’t for him.
He arrived in boot camp on August 20, 1990 which he described as very similar to the movie Full Metal Jacket. The process of boot camp was “break you down build you up” which put soldiers in the right mindset.
Then in 2007 Mr. Lischke joined the United States Air Force as a military police officer, or MP. In 2008, Mr. Lischke was deployed to Iraq as an MP which was his first time in a warzone or what he describes, “guns-up type stuff.” He was stationed at forward operating base Warrior.
As he first arrived, he describes his experiences: “God it smelt horrible, it was so bad.” The second thing he remembers is how tired he was. It took them nine days to get to Iraq.
The days there were very hot. He couldn’t stress enough how hot it was. It was so hot that his friend actually cooked eggs on the hood of the humvee.
After asking Mr. Lischke what was most surprising in Iraq, he choked up and said, “It always gets to me. Even in the crappiest situation, things you could have never imagined and some really horrific things, the little kids are still happy and play, it was just crazy to me.” He says it is something that has always struck him and stood out.
His best and most memorable moment out of both of his deployments was when one morning he walked out of the barracks and smelt fresh cut grass. He was so used to smelling sewage and burnt waste and chemicals that nothing could compare to the great smell of fresh cut grass.
Once back from deployment, he describes his civilian life hard to adjust to. He hated going to the grocery store because there is too many options to chose from.
Mr. Lischke also describes how he didn’t feel comfortable when he was back because of the lack of security. For months after being home, he would scan the roof tops and pieces of trash on the ground freaked him out because of IED (Improvised Explosive Device) crisis in Iraq. Interestingly, he says, “I don’t have PTSD though or anything like that.”
“Things like that don’t go away”, he says. He is always situationally aware, “Where I am sitting right now is not an accident, I can see pretty much everything. I am close to an exit and can see the parking lot here. It’s just the way I think.”
We thank Mr.Lischke for his service in the military and as he continues to serve our country as a federal agent anonymously protecting us when we need it most.