Manawa graduate now in Navy
By Holly Neumann
Petty Officer Katie Heschke, daughter of Tom Heschke and Traci Dusek, was recently home on leave from the United States Navy.
She enlisted following her graduation from Manawa’s Little Wolf High School in 2011.
“I had decided during my junior year that I did not want to go to college,” she said. “I wanted to do something different, I wanted to travel.”
Heschke is currently stationed on board USS Chafee DDG 90 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where she is a culinary specialist.
“I wanted to go in as a culinary specialist and I really enjoy it,” said Heschke. “I started out cooking in the galley and I was moved to records keeping. I am also in charge of the wardroom, which is where we serve the officers.”
She admits that the hardest part of serving is being away from home.
“Before you leave for boot camp you get excited to get out and see new things,” Heschke said. “But once you’re gone you miss your family. You also miss all the little things about where you’re from, like baling hay or living in the country or just being from a small town.”
Heschke noted that the highlight of her career this far is that she is currently an E5.
“Some people would say that it’s crazy I’m an E5 and have only been in for about four years and that I made rank really fast,” she said. “But I think that being able to meet my first ship while on deployment and being able to actually do a deployment so early in my career was amazing.”
Heschke, who plans on making a career out of serving in the Navy, will leave the USS Chafee in January and has hopes of being stationed at the White House for her next tour of duty.
“I think this would be a great opportunity for me and give me even more experience,” she said.