SPC (Ret.) Russ Rodriguez
SPC (Ret.) Rosel "Russ" Rodriguez grew up in small town Pleasanton, TX. As the oldest of five children, he was 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.
Russ 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 poisoned 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 his biggest supporter though his recovery. Russ is a professional artist, and works from his home studio. He is enjoying a peaceful life with Jackie and their three children in their adapted Helping A Hero home in Texas.