Dr. Herman R. Raines, 89, of Wynnewood, a decorated World War II veteran who served as a combat medic in several historic battles before returning home to pursue a career in optometry, died Sunday, Dec. 22, at Lankenau Hospital after a brief illness.

Dr. Raines rose to the rank of first lieutenant and assistant battalion aid surgeon in the U.S. Army and fought in many European conflicts, including in Normandy, France, and Rhineland, Germany.

He was awarded the American Campaign Medal, the European, North African and Middle Eastern Medals with three battle stars, and the Bronze Star for remaining in position and saving lives while under intense fire, his family said. He also was nominated as a Knight of the French Legion of Honor.

Dr. Raines was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Overbrook High School, where he met his future wife, Beatrice, in chemistry class. He worked at the Sun Shipyard in Chester until he was drafted in 1943 at age 18. After basic training, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and assistant battalion aid surgeon.

Over the next three years, Dr. Raines traveled Europe, serving as a combat medic who fought and also tended to the wounded on front lines.

After he was discharged from service in 1946, he married and graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. He worked in Philadelphia and remained in active practice until 2011, his family said.

Last month he published "Okay Men, This is It: A Combat Medic's Odyssey," a memoir of his service record that also related the story of falling in love with his wife.

In addition to his wife of 67 years, he is survived by his sons, Dr. Jonathan Raines and Andrew Raines; a grandson; and many nephews and nieces.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, and Shiva will be observed Wednesday and Thursday at his home. Contributions may be made in Dr. Raines' honor to a charity of the donor's choice.

asteele@phillynews.com

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