By Army Sgt. Neil Gussman
Pennsylvania National Guard
The road back to Iraq has been arduous for Spc. David Broome. In all, he was a patient in four hospitals for nearly two months before going home to begin the rehabilitation process. After several surgeries and treatments, he regained the use of his right leg, but some of his thigh muscle is missing, so he has limitations.
In 2008, when the pre-mobilization training began for his current deployment here with Task Force Diablo, Broome looked at deploying a bit differently from most soldiers. He knew how dangerous duty in Iraq could be, he said, but he also was ready to go back.
"I'd say I am 50/50 about being outside the wire," Broome said. "Part of me wanted to get back out on the road and see how much had changed from 2005, but part of me is happy to stay here on Tallil."
At 23, Broome already has six years of service. The Manayunk, Pa., native enlisted at 17 after being a member of the Junior ROTC at Roxborough High School. He went to basic training in June 2003, and then to advanced training in 2004 to become a human resources specialist.
In January 2005, he was mobilized with the Pennsylvania National Guard's "B" Troop, 1st Squadron, 104th Cavalry Regiment. In June, he was in Ramadi, Iraq. He was assigned as a human resources specialist, but spent less than a week in that job.
"They needed more soldiers on patrol, so I was attached to a Vermont line platoon," Broome said. "My truck commander taught me room clearing, convoy route security and detainee operations." Broome served four months on security and patrol duty until he was injured and evacuated from Iraq.
"I know this tour is rough on some of the first-timers," the Purple Heart recipient said, "but compared to my first tour, this time is cake for me."