RJ Racine, a Valrico native, graduated from Newsome High School in 2008. From a very young age, RJ knew he wanted a military career. A very disciplined person, he got up every morning in high school at 4:30 to workout before classes. He chose to attend Norwich University in Vermont, the oldest private military college in the U.S. He received a National ROTC scholarship and a University scholarship based on his academics and PT scores.
RJ graduated cum laude in May of 2012, commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, and married his college sweetheart, Felicia Jones, all in the same month. Felicia is a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force and also a Norwich graduate.
RJ started in the Signal Corps branch of the Army in July of 2012, stationed in Savannah Georgia. His unit, the 603rd Aviation Support Battalion, deployed to Afghanistan in December of 2012, making him the first in his class to receive a deployment. He spent nine months there at a remote base just outside of Kandahar.
RJ returned last month. Although glad to be home, would go again if called, and considers it part of his job as service to his country. His wife will deploy later this month. RJ is making sacrifices on both ends of the spectrum. He truly is our hometown hero.