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Lt. Dean Rondeau is back from Iraq

LT. DEAN RONDEAU beams upon his return to work at the Wolfeboro Police Department after a year in Baghdad, Iraq as chief of operations and intelligence for a civil affairs brigade. Part-time dispatcher Jon King, in the center, and dispatch supervisor, Mia Lyons were happy to have him back. (Elissa Paquette photo) (click for larger version)
May 28, 2009
WOLFEBORO — Lt. Dean Rondeau is back at work at the Wolfeboro Police department, picking up where he left off in April last year when he left for a second tour of duty in Iraq. He says he feels like he's been in a time capsule. He said that when an officer told him, "You remember everything like it was yesterday, " he replied, "It was yesterday."

"Everyone's been great in the reintegration," he remarked, citing members of the police commission, the town manager, and his fellow officers for their warm welcome.

Monday, May 18, was his first day on the job, following a whirlwind of activities reconnecting with family upon his return to New Hampshire on May 3. Most notably, he had the honor of commissioning his son Derek into the U.S. Army on May 9, the day before Derek's graduation summa cum laude from Norwich University's Military Academy. Derek, representing the fourth generation in the family to serve in the Army, is now a second lieutenant in the infantry.

Rondeau has noticed a few changes in town, such as the many new building construction projects: All Saints Episcopal Church, across the street from the station, has doubled in size; Huggins Hospital's new building makes an impressive silhouette; and the Wolfeboro Inn's appearance has noticeably changed.

He noted the road work projects for much-needed infrastructure improvements and the refurbishing of Main Street store fronts, too. Along with all that, Rondeau says that traffic seems to have increased. "It seems like the town has grown," he says, from the perspective of a year's absence.

While in Baghdad at Camp Slayer, Rondeau served as chief of operations and intelligence for a civil affairs brigade, an airborne command, and earned a third Bronze Star for exposure to hostile fire.

Now, he's cleaning out his case files and taking care of administrative tasks, such as hiring traffic control officers for the summer and two new dispatchers. He needs to update his own investigations, among other jobs. It's a welcome change of venue for the Wolfeboro Police Department's second in command, and the department now has returned to full force.

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