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Waupaca Foundry

Nov 10, 2019

Joe Hecht | Waupaca Foundry

If you were to ask Joe Hecht, an electrician at Waupaca Foundry in Marinette, Wisconsin, why he decided to join the United States Marine Corps, he wouldn’t have an elaborate answer; it was simply something he always wanted to do.
Hecht enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 2004. A Marinette native, he traveled over 2,000 miles to boot camp in San Diego. He then attended the School of Infantry-West at Camp Pendleton in California. After graduation, he was then stationed in Hawaii for two months before being deployed to Jalalabad, Afghanistan. A part of the 2nd battalion 3rd Marine Regiment, Hecht took part in multiple combat operations, including Operation Red Wings, the operation that inspired the movie “Lone Survivor,” starring Mark Wahlberg. His battalion was also a part of Operation Whalers that took place after Operation Red Wings. The book, “Victory Point,” written by Ed Darack discusses both of these operations. 
After returning home from his deployment, Hecht was accepted into the Scout Sniper Platoon and was deployed to the Haditha Triad in Iraq. The book, “The Warriors of Anbar: The Marines Who Crushed Al Qaeda,” by Ed Darack was also inspired by the platoon’s deployment.
Hecht returned home again and was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, but this time as a Sniper Team Assistant Team Leader.
With over 4 years in the Marines, Hecht retired from his military career in 2008.
After his military retirement, Hecht was an employee contractor in Iraq for a few months and then started a job back in Wisconsin.
Hecht then decided to go to school to become an electrician. The skills he developed in the Marine Corps served especially useful in his new intended career path.
“The biggest thing I learned in the Marines is detail and paying attention to things. That helps a lot with being an electrician too — making sure you don’t overlook anything when you’re trying to figure out a problem,” Hecht says.
By luck, Phil Eatherton, the human resources manager in Marinette, was getting a haircut at the same place Hecht’s wife works while Hecht was attending school. After some small talk about Hecht and his education path, he was invited to tour Waupaca Foundry and then offered a position.
He was hired on in 2015 as Electrical Maintenance C and has since been promoted twice by working his way up to Electrical Maintenance A.
While his military career has become a part of his past, Hecht still values the appreciation the military receives in his civilian life.
“It may not be what my life is now, but the Marine Corp was a big part of my life now, and it is a big part of who I am today. Having a company that supports that not only for veterans but for those who are still in, I think that is awesome,” Hecht says.
Waupaca Foundry is proud to employ the men and women who have served our country. In fact, 10 percent of our employees have served in uniform. We thank you for your service.