Russell was on the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. Army Spc. Russell Madden died in a rocket-propelled grenade attack on his convoy in Afghanistan, during Operation Enduring Freedom. He was only 29. Russell wanted to be on the front line helping his fellow soldiers fight the war. He was on his first tour of duty as a lead gunner for convoy escorts and always said he was never going to leave one of his battle buddies and had a heart of gold. Russell was a young man who was focused on getting his life to be the best life that it could be. Russell was a good father and a good husband, a good son and a good brother. And, obviously, he was a good soldier.

He graduated from Bellevue High School, where he was a standout athlete in football. He loved sports, animals and music. Russell’s legacy is that he was unselfish. He focused on others while he put himself on the back burner. He showed people that they are part of something bigger than themselves. Russell’s pride as a soldier should translate into a sense of pride for all of us.

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