Dan Lasko - Graduate

Jan 5, 2011
Dan Lasko
Dan Lasko - Graduate

On Sept. 11, 2001, he swore allegiance to his country as the newest member of the Marine Corps. An injury forced him to leave the military and redefine his life, yet his commitment to serve his country has remained.

At 22, Corporal Dan Lasko was deployed to Afghanistan where he was assigned to transport Marines through the rocky terrain. Just one month into his deployment he was caught in a firefight and injured when his Humvee collided with two improvised explosive device (IED).

“When something like that happens to you, you don’t feel it for a while,” Lasko said. “But it didn’t take me too long to realize that below the knee my left leg was gone.”

Lasko spent the next year rehabilitating his leg and getting fitted with prosthetics. “I just kept it positive,” he said.

After he retired from the Marines in 2005, Lasko earned his associate’s degree in criminal justice. The Pennsylvania native stayed positive, in part, by competing in triathlons with fellow Marines. He traveled around the country nearly every weekend and in two years competed in over 20 races.

His attitude was put to the test shortly after finishing college. “It was difficult to find a job while I was in college and even after I had my degree,” he said. Lasko was relieved to find the House had a program to hire wounded veterans. “I thought it was a good idea for the wounded guys coming back who can’t be in the military any more, but who still want to be public servants,” he said.

As a Wounded Warrior Program fellow, Lasko worked for Rep. Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania as a caseworker specializing in veteran’s affairs. “I understand the difficulties and hardships they encounter as I experienced the same at a young age,” Lasko said at the time. “This is a very rewarding job, and it is a win win.”

After graduating from the fellowship, Lasko returned to school as a full-time graduate student.