StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative records the stories of veterans and their families.

Private First Class Roman Coley Davis grew up in a small town in South Georgia. After graduating from high school in 2004, he joined the military.

By the time he was 20 years old, Roman found himself 7000 miles away from home, in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan — one of the most remote outposts in the U.S. war there.

At StoryCorps, he told his friend Dan Marek about his family and his time in Afghanistan.


After the military, Roman enrolled in culinary school. He used his GI Bill to attend Le Cordon Bleu. He’s now a chef, based in Arkansas.


Top photo: Roman Coley Davis and his mema, Laverne Tanner, in her South Georgia kitchen. Courtesy of Roman Coley Davis.
Middle photo: Roman during his deployment to Afghanistan. Courtesy of Roman Coley Davis.
Bottom photo: Roman in his chef’s whites with his meemaw, Laverne Tanner. Photo by Dailey Hubbard.

This interview was recorded in partnership with the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

This story originally aired April 07, 2018 on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday. It was rebroadcast April 10, 2020 on NPR’s Morning Edition.