Sunday Profile: Tim Romero Jr. wears his uniform with joy and pride
Silt’s Tim Romero Jr. is a military veteran and longtime local Post Office employee with sweet plans for the future
When asked what would be the best time to take a photo to accompany this story, Timoteo Romero Jr. answered, “Anytime, I’m always ready.”
With an impeccable uniform, which he confirmed he irons daily, and a nametag that simply reads Tim, Romero Jr. seems to truly enjoy his position as a senior clerk at the Glenwood Springs Post Office.
“In my 24 years at the Post Office, I don’t think I ever showed up with a bad attitude,” he says with pride.
Romero Jr. first started as a part-time flexible clerk at the Aspen Post Office in 1995. He transferred to the Glenwood Springs branch in 1998, where he hopes to retire in just a couple of years.
But life hasn’t always been this straightforward for him.
Born in Mexico and raised in the United States, Romero Jr. moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in the late 1980s, where he decided to enlist in the military after visiting a recruiting office at the West Glenwood Springs mall.
“I was young, I wanted to travel and be in a uniform,” he remembers. “I always thought that being in a uniform made you cool.”
In 1991, Romero Jr. was deployed to Kuwait during the Gulf War for 52 days.
“It was pretty tough,” he said.
“During those 52 days, I don’t remember going to the bathroom, sleeping or eating. I just remember some ugly notions about the war, and I usually don’t like to talk about it,” he confessed.
“It brings bad memories. I break down.”
Later on, Romero Jr. admitted suffering from PTSD but didn’t want to talk about it.
“I have all my ugly memories locked in a little room in my head,” he said. “Unless I have to talk to a specialist, I don’t like to talk about it.”
Life after combat
After traveling the world with the Navy for eight years, and independently following his service, Romero Jr.’s transition to civilian life went somewhat smoothly — this time under a different uniform — the USPS.
“When they put me to work with customer service I was horrified to be in public,” he remembers. “I didn’t know how I was going to behave. I didn’t think I could handle it.”
Now, with more than 20 years as a Post Office employee, Romero Jr. is nothing but proud of his career choice.
“I went from one uniform to another,” he said. “ I wear all my uniforms with pride, military or Post Office.”
Often recognized for his outgoing personality and contagious sense of humor at the window where he greets customers, Romero Jr. continues to find ways to make the job interesting every day.
For example, by learning people’s names.
“I know most of our customers and their faces, but I didn’t know their names,” he explained. “Now I ask, ‘May I know your name, please?’”
The Chihuahua native is also passionate about helping the local Hispanic community, speaking Spanish with post office customers who are not fluent in English, and as a volunteer translator at the Glenwood Springs courthouse.
“I don’t get paid to translate, but I do it because people need it.”
What’s next for Tim
Romero Jr. plans to retire within the next couple of years and has plenty of sweet plans for the future.
“Everybody that knows me knows that I make these amazing chocoflans,” he said about his special Mexican recipe.
Romero Jr., who follows a gluten-free diet, is also proud of his Mexican cookies and other gourmet flan cakes he sometimes bakes for sale. “I love to cook, most of my meals are prepared at home. I even cook for my dogs.”
His two dogs, both boxers — one of which is paralyzed from the waist down — also get to enjoy his active lifestyle and love for traveling.
“I take the dogs on vacation and to ski,” said Romero Jr. who likes to ski Powderhorn and has an A-Basin military season pass.
Next on his travel list is Machu Picchu in Peru. “I want to do the six-day Inca trail,” he said before mentioning he also wants to revisit Brazil and Egypt.
Romero Jr. says in addition to English and Spanish, he can also speak a little Italian and Portuguese, and knows about 50 to 80 words in Tarahumara, a Mexican indigenous language.
“I usually never stay home,” he said. “Unless I need to cook.”
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Construction for the South Midland project is on schedule, though crews will continue to work on weekends to keep the course.