Today is the five year anniversary of the current war in Iraq. To date, almost 4,000 soldiers have lost their lives fighting in the war on terrorism in Iraq. Regardless of one's personal view on the validity of the war, one thing we can all agree on is that we should support and honor the troops who are putting their lives on the line to keep our country safe.
Today, I would like to publicly honor one such soldier. His name is Russell Byers, and he is my younger brother. Russell spent a year and 3 months fighting in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division. He had been married for 6 months when he shipped out and he was only able to see his wife for a couple of weeks during his deployment when he was on leave.
Russell had to make crucial life and death decisions each day. He survived on very little sleep and faced hardships that I can not imagine. During most of his time there, he had a critically important job and many soldiers lives depended on the decisions he made. I can not imagine the pressure that he was under.
Nevertheless, the Lord protected him and he arrived home safely last October. February 29th was his last day in the Army and now he is reunited with his wife living in Ft. Worth, Texas. I am really proud of Russ and his accomplishments in the the Army. Russell was awarded with the Army Commendation Medal for his superior service in Iraq. He was mentioned by Congressman Randy Neugebauer in the Congressional Record and I would like to share some of what was said with you.
I realize that I included quite a bit of text but I feel that it is especially important to honor our servicemen who risk their lives to protect our country. Russ, I may be older, AND TALLER!!!, but you are the one who deserves to be looked up to. Thank you for your service Russ, I love you.