Illustration for article titled Lockheed Martin Executive Fondly Recalls Humble Beginning Dealing Arms Out Of Back Of Chrysler LeBaron

BETHESDA, MD—Waxing nostalgic about his early days driving around the Eastern seaboard “with a trunk full of Stinger heat-seeking missiles and a head full of dreams,” Lockheed Martin Vice President of International Sales Robert Fitzpatrick spent much of a Friday business lunch recounting his humble beginning dealing arms out of the back of his Chrysler LeBaron. “In the beginning, I just kept that old heap idling outside a Miami Stop & Shop waiting for an aspiring potential warlord to pass by,” said Fitzpatrick, who was eventually recruited by the defense contractor after the higher-ups at Lockheed took notice of the sheer volume of man-portable air-defense systems sold out of Fitzpatrick’s trunk. “I remember I used to sleep in that stupid car with all my inventory. Sure, it was tough, but at that point, you’re just doing it for the love of selling weapons. I set my own schedule, I set my own prices, and I didn’t have to answer to anybody or give lobbyists a cut. All the cash went straight into my pockets. Man, those were the days.” Fitzpatrick credits the flexible attitudes and quick-thinking skills he learned peddling instruments of death for his ability to broker shady arms deals between the U.S. government and foreign powers today.

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