My name is Steve Russell. I was Bobby's battalion
commander during his first tour in Iraq and for a year
after he returned. Bobby was a great soldier and a
fine young man. He often went on patrol with my
headquarters element. We chose him to operate our
battalion radios in Iraq--a great
responsibility-- because we knew he was mature,
intelligent and reliable.
When we returned home, I got to spend a lot of time
with Bobby as he drove for my operations
officer--again a great responsibility. He was chosen
by our Sergeant Major because we knew he could always
be counted on.
When I heard the news I was traveling and could not
make the funeral. I can still see him now. I still
remember the countless converstaions we had in the
command post and can see him with his rifle ready on
patrol in Iraq. I remember swapping Arkansas stories
(I am a graduate of Ouachita and my wife is from
Nashville area). I remember his goofy grin and the
clever spin he would put on everything to make people
The sum total of our lives is how we invest them
in other people. I am a better man for having
commanded and known such men as Bobby West. He
invested in us all and we are richer for it. May God
continue to bless his memory and console his family.
He will never be forgotten as long as those who served
with him have breath.
LTC Steve Russell
1st Battallion, 22nd Infantry, Tikrit, Iraq 2003-2004