Kevin Lacz

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Kevin Lacz
KevinLacz.jpg
Lacz in April 2014
Birth nameKevin Lacz
Nickname(s)"Dauber"
Born (1981-12-26) December 26, 1981 (age 37)
Meriden, Connecticut, U.S.
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service2002–2010
RankSO1 (SEAL)
UnitUnited States Navy Special Warfare insignia.png U.S. Navy SEALs
Battles/warsIraq War
AwardsBronze Star Medal ribbon with "V" device, 1st award.svg Bronze Star Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal ribbon.svg Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2)
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal ribbon.svg Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2)[1]
Spouse(s)
Lindsey Lacz (m. 2009)
RelationsPeter Lacz (father)
Marlene Lacz (mother)
Mark Lacz (brother)
Michael Lacz (brother)
Children: 2
Other workThe Last Punisher (2016)[2]

Kevin "Dauber" Lacz is a United States Navy SEAL veteran who served two tours in the Iraq War. His platoon's 2006 deployment to Ramadi has been discussed in several books, including Dick Couch's The Sheriff of Ramadi, Jim DeFelice's Code Name: Johnny Walker, and Chris Kyle's New York Times best-selling autobiography, American Sniper. Lacz's presence in the book led to his involvement in the production of and eventual casting in the Clint Eastwood-directed Oscar-winning biopic of the same name (starring Bradley Cooper).[3]

Early life[edit]

Lacz was born in Meriden, Connecticut, where he lived until the age of 12, at which point he moved to Middlefield, Connecticut. He attended Xavier High School in Middletown, Connecticut, an all-male private Catholic school, graduating in 2000. He enrolled at James Madison University in 2000 to pursue a career in medicine.[1]

Military career[edit]

When the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 claimed the life of a good friend's father, Lacz decided to leave school in favor of the military. A SEALs poster on the wall at a Navy recruiter's office inspired Lacz to enlist in the Navy with orders for Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL school (BUD/S).[1]

He started BUD/S Class 245, but suffered a back injury that forced him to roll back to the next class. He went on to graduate with BUD/S Class 246 in 2003. As a Hospital Corpsman, Lacz also attended 18-D Special Operations Combat Medic School at Fort Bragg before checking into SEAL Team 3 in Coronado, California. Soon after, he attended Army Sniper School and returned to Charlie Platoon where he began preparing for his 2006 deployment with Chris Kyle, Marc Lee, Ryan Job, and Mike Monsoor (who was in the same Task Unit, but from Delta Platoon).[2]

In 2006, Lacz deployed to Ramadi, Iraq with Charlie Platoon, Task Unit Bruiser.[1] The work he did as a platoon sniper and medic contributed to his task unit becoming the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War.[4] Lacz personally conducted numerous sniper overwatches, direct action missions, raids, and tribal engagements in support of the effort to halt the spread of violence through Ramadi. For his actions on his 2006 deployment, including acquiring numerous enemy kills and braving enemy fire to carry a fallen comrade to safety, Lacz was awarded a Bronze Star Medal with a Combat 'V.'[1]

Kevin Lacz and Chris Kyle at a SEAL Team 3 awards ceremony in Coronado, CA, on October 7, 2007

In 2008, Lacz returned to Iraq, this time as a member of Delta Platoon. Joining Chris Kyle for another deployment, his focus was the Iraqi border with Syria and the interception of foreign fighters trying to infiltrate the country.[3]

As a SEAL, Lacz gained extensive experience in Special Operations Combat Medicine (SOCM), Special Operations Dive Chamber Medicine, Military Free-Fall HALO and HAHO Operations, Long-Range Target Interdiction Sniper work, Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE) Training, Battlefield Interrogations, Close Quarters Combat (CQC), Counter-Terrorism Operations, and Naval Special Warfare Lead Breaching Operations.[5]

In addition to his Bronze Star, Lacz was awarded two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, among other awards.[1]

Post-military life[edit]

Upon completing his enlistment, Lacz was honorably discharged from the Navy. He returned to Connecticut and enrolled at the University of Connecticut with the intention of continuing his career in medicine. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in political science in 2011 and began the application process for physician assistant school.[6] In 2012, Lacz moved his family to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to pursue his Masters of Medical Sciences at Wake Forest University. He graduated in August 2014.[7]

Because of his close working and personal relationship with Chris Kyle, Lacz was asked to contribute to his autobiography, American Sniper, through interviews. Kyle also discussed Lacz frequently when referencing the 2006 and 2008 deployments (as "Dauber"), laying the groundwork for Lacz's involvement in the production.[8] He was hired to provide SEAL technical advising for the film. Bradley Cooper also convinced Clint Eastwood to allow Lacz to audition for the role of "Dauber," after which he was cast to play himself.[9]

Lacz is the spokesperson for Hunting for Healing, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization he founded with his wife, Lindsey. After taking a trip to Africa together in May 2015, the couple decided to launch a charity with a mission to take service-disabled veterans and their spouses on hunting, fishing, and outdoor excursions.[10]

Lacz was appointed by Governor Rick Scott of Florida to the District Board of Trustees for Pensacola State College in 2015.[11] Lacz is also a professional speaker represented by Greater Talent Network (GTN).[12] His memoir about his 2006 deployment to Ramadi, The Last Punisher, was published on July 12, 2016.[2]

Currently, Lacz works as a physician assistant in northwest Florida and southeastern Alabama, where he is co-owner of Regenesis, a lifestyle and performance medicine medical practice.[13] His past military service influences him greatly as he also seeks to actively support service members and veterans by tending to their medical needs.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Gecan, Alex (April 1, 2014). "Middlefield native, Navy SEAL playing himself in Eastwood's 'American Sniper'". The Middletown Press. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Kevin Lacz, Ethan E. Rocke & Lindsey Lacz (July 2016). The Last Punisher. Threshold Editions. ISBN 978-1501127243.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b Stern, Marlow. "The 'American Sniper' I Knew: Kevin Lacz on Fellow Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and Movie Criticisms". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  4. ^ Feloni, Richard. "A former Navy SEAL officer reveals the 11-point checklist he used to prepare for combat". Business Insider. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Kevin Lacz Biography". IMDb. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  6. ^ Ross, Dalton. "UConn Graduate Kevin Lacz Plays Himself in "American Sniper"". WHUS Radio. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  7. ^ ""American Sniper" Actor: PA Grad and Former Navy SEAL". Wake Forest School of Medicine. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  8. ^ Kyle, Chris; McEwen, Scott; DeFelice, Chris (February 5, 2012). American Sniper. Harper Collins. ISBN 0-06-208235-3.
  9. ^ Tedder, Michael. "Bradley Cooper on 'American Sniper': Training Was Basically A Science Experiment". Variety. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Who We Are". Hunting for Healing. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Governor Rick Scott Appoints Two to Pensacola State College District Board of Trustees". Rick Scott, 45th Governor of Florida.
  12. ^ "Why Kevin Lacz Is Captivating Audiences". Greater Talent Network.
  13. ^ "Regenesis". iLifestyle Gulf Coast. Retrieved 16 June 2016.