SPC (Ret.) Russ Rodriguez

SPC (Ret.) Russ Rodriguez
U.S. Army
Richmond, Texas

SPC (Ret.) Rosel "Russ" Rodriguez grew up in small town Pleasanton, TX.  He was the oldest of five children, and responsible for taking care of his younger siblings while his father worked.  His childhood hero was John Wayne and when the family moved to Beaumont, TX, Russ recalls fighting on a daily basis to protect his brothers from gangs in their new neighborhood.

Rodriguez joined the military beacuse he desired to continue protecting those who could not defend themselves.  He joined the US Army in 2004 and later deployed to the Middle East.  While in Iraq, Russ was poinsoned by contaminated water and fell severely ill.  He eventually discharged from the military, and still suffers from post-traumatic stress, its associated symptoms, and permenant injuries to his foot.

Russ states that his wife and fellow Operation Enduring Freedom veteran, Jackie, has been the biggest supporter though his recovery.  The two look forward to a peaceful life in their their adapted Helping A Hero home with their three children.