Sgt. First Class Michael L. Russell died June 28, 2005, in eastern Afghanistan when his MH-47D helicopter was shot down by enemy fire during combat operations. He served with the Army 160th SOAR.
A resident of Rincon, Ga., he was born Sept. 28, 1973 in Virginia.
Russell joined the Army in October of 1991 as a Chinook helicopter repairer. After completing Basic Training at Fort Jackson, S.C., he first duty station was Barbers Point, Hawaii, where he remained until April 1995. In May 1995, he departed to the 158th Aviation Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo. In August 1996, he was assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) where he served as a flight engineer with the 3rd Battalion, 160th SOAR(A), Hunter Army Air Field, Ga.
Russell’s military schools include: the Primary Leadership Development Course, Survival Evade Resist Escape Level-C Course and the Basic Noncommissioned Officers Course.
His awards and decorations include: the Army Superior Unit Award, the Senior Army Aviator Badge, the Bronze Star Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Air Medal with Valorous device, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Overseas Service Ribbon. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Master Army Aviator Badge, and an Air Medal with Valor device and the Combat Action Badge.
He is survived by his wife Annette of Savannah, Ga, and two daughters, Lauren and Megan.
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