When he was a boy scout, he already dreamt about being a soldier. He passed his high-school finals, and joined the army right away. He started his military service in the Representative Battalion of the Polish Armed Forces, but he rather wanted to serve at training fields and do parachute jumping. Dreams do come true – he became a soldier of the 1st Air Cavalry Battalion in Leźnica Wielka.
In 2010, in the PMC Afghanistan he was a gunner in Rosomak IFV. On one of his patrols, near Warrior Base, a mine exploded under his vehicle. Corporal Liszka was wounded, along with three other soldiers. The doctors fought for his life first in the military hospital in Ghazni, and later in Ramstein Air Base. Unfortunately, due to blood infection, his hand must have been amputated at the forearm.
After a year of treatment and rehabilitation, he decided to return to active service. “I never thought I could leave the army. I believed I could be of use to the army, even if I’m partially physically disabled,” he says. He completed the course for NCOs. Today, he serves in the 1st Podhale Rifles Battalion in Rzeszów as a soldier under category of “capable for military service, with limitations.”
Before the accident, he had been very active in sports: played football, trained wrestling. He still plays football, because – as he says – he doesn’t need his hand to kick the ball. Today he plays with his buddies on Orlik football field. He still does running, cycling, but also goes skiing and hiking. He takes canoeing trips organized by injured veterans. “I learnt how to hold a paddle. Now me and my canoe partner can catch up with the rest of the group,” he concludes.
He has engaged in a social campaign: “Respect and Support.” He wants the society to notice the problems of veterans and their families.
Corporal Liszka decided to compete in the Invictus Games to prove himself. “Only several months ago did I first sit on an ergometer – the rowing machine, and it turned out I was quite good at it: it took me a minute to “row” over 300 meters. Rowing is an endurance game. You have to be fast, strong and enduring. I like that,” he admits. His second choice is swimming – he swam a kilometer in four minutes. He decided then to improve his results by October. He knows he can do his best if he tries hard enough. Sometimes he thinks it would be nice to get to the top in Sydney. “The result is important, a medal would be my cherry on the cake, but the most important is participation in such a great international event,” he emphasizes.
Health impairment: 80%
Missions: PMC Afghanistan 7th rotation
Discipline: swimming, light athletics (running, shot-put and discus throw), indoor rowing
autor zdjęć: Michał Niwicz