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 laugh.

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
Commander 1st Battallion, 22nd Infantry, Tikrit, Iraq 2003-2004






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