In the Iraq watch, a Huntington native is making a real name for himself in the military. David Romine is a Marshall grad, a medical doctor and now a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army. He's currently stationed in Iraq.
Dr. David Romine's medical and military success story began years ago.
“My first exposure to the military was right out of Marshall in 1985,” said Romine. “I went into the Navy as a flight officer."
And after fulfilling his first tour of duty, Dr. Romine returned to West Virginia, graduated medical school and served as a small town doctor in rural Mississippi until the impossible happened!
“After 9/11, I decided that the needs of the country and the Army or whatever really superseded my need to take care of that little town, and so I recruited my replacement and joined the army,” said Romine."
That meant leaving the Mississippi Delta, and after serving in Afghanistan, heading into the most dangerous area of the world…Iraq!
Doctor Romine is now Lieutenant Colonel Romine. He’s a brigade surgeon at Camp Tajim, just miles from downtown Baghdad.
“For me, it wasn't that big of a deal,” said Romine. “For my family, I think that they felt like I had checked that box, and it wasn't until they met my friends in the army, they saw the wonderful, professional environment I had. All those things have kind of helped them warm up to my being here."
Lieutenant Colonel Romine does not discount the dangers. He and his fellow troops in the air battalion are aware that six helicopters have crashed in just three weeks in Iraq, begging the question, how is morale there?
“Sure, it's a really good question,” said Romine. “There are about 3,000 people in this brigade, and it's sort of like having another small town to take care of. Morale is as different for every person as there are different people here. On the whole, it's excellent. It's like a big family. There's a lot of support."
And a sense of pride. Romine says that's why he has extended his service into a career with the military.
He was home briefly a couple of months back, and says he got to watch the movie "We Are Marshall," stroll through Ritter Park, and see the West Virginia mountains.