Floydada Overflows with Patriotism for One of Their Own - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/5/04

Floydada Overflows with Patriotism for One of Their Own

Patriotism was overflowing in Floydada Thursday morning as hundreds lined the highway, waving American flags, to say goodbye to one of their own. Randall Griffin, a dentist there for more than 15 years has re enlisted in the U.S. Air Force saying goodbye to his family, his practice and his community for the next four years.

Early Thursday morning hundreds lined the Matador Highway for a surprise send off, for town Dentist Randall Griffin.

"Randall is a real good friend and our dentist and he's a patriotic person that's doing what God needs him to do to help take care of this country," said Jerry Finley, a Floydada resident.

And local police are taking care of Dr.Griffin, surrounding him for an escort out of town.

"I can't believe the community came out this way to see me off. I'm going to Montgomery, Alabama to Maxwell Airforce base for a month and then I'll be back in Dyess Airforce Base. It's unbelievable I love them," Dr. Griffin said.

Dr Griffin served 15 years in the air force after graduating dental school, and has been practicing dentistry ever since. Now, at the age of 45, he's answering the call once again. "The President needs some help and they are short on health care personnel in the military all branches so I'm going to help out," said Dr. Griffin.

A tough decision for his family, but wife Gayla said, she knew this day would come.

"He's been a true blue boy for a long time. He's just had it in his blood this entire time. And I knew even though he loves this community, and his patients but we just sat down together and with all that's happened since 9-11 he just found it in his heart that he wanted to serve his country," Gayla Griffin said.

"Ok see you guys. God bless America," Dr. Griffin said as he waved and left.

For now this office will remain empty, and while the town understands the call of duty, they admit he will be tough to replace. There is one other dentist in town, but it's hard to recruit medical professionals to the rural areas.

Griffin's wife and three daughters will stay in Floydada and lean on the community for support. Griffin signed a four year commitment.

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