By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers
CLOVIS — Clovis Police Detective Roman Romero said he plans to renew his reserve contract with the Marine Corps in coming weeks even though it could mean being sent to Iraq.
The Clovis native said although he’s established in his job and has a young family, he wants to serve his country and expects to be called back to duty.
“It’s time to go back and get attached to a reserve unit. I’ve got a career and I’ve got a family — I’ve also got a loyalty to my country,” Romero said. “My career is very important to me. I’m a policeman but before I’m anything, I’m an American. The country gives a lot and people have to give back — I believe in something larger than me.”
Officials announced last week the Marines Corps will soon begin ordering thousands of its troops back to active duty because of a shortage of volunteers for Iraq and Afghanistan.
Up to 2,500 Marines will be brought up at a time to fight the war on terrorism. The call-ups will begin in the next several months, The Associated Press reported.
A recent first-time father, the 36-year-old Romero said he was waiting to be sure his family was settled after the birth of his daughter before renewing his reserve status with the Marine Corps.
A gunnery sergeant, Romero served eight years in the Marines. During that time he led a scout platoon, worked in administration and intelligence.
Raul Chavez, a 45-year-old Clovis laborer and Desert Storm veteran, said while he is not eager to return to service he would honor his commitment. He said he is likely outside the window of those being called upon because of his age.
“For me it’s one of those things that if duty calls, I’d have no problem in accepting that path,” he said.
Chavez, who served as a radioman, left the Marine Corps in 1992.
He said he has settled back into life in Clovis and is enjoying time with his 9-year-old daughter.
Leaving her behind to go to combat would be tough, he said.
Romero said the troops currently serving need a break.
“It’s something that must be done. A lot of the guys have been over there two and three times, and they get tired. We can go pick up the slack,” he said.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report