Friends, loved ones remember soldier killed in Afghanistan

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Friends and loved ones gathered Friday at the Old Main building on the ASU Tempe campus to remember 1st Lt. Jonam Russell.

Russell, who graduated from ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business in 2011, and two other soldiers were killed Tuesday by a suicide bomber while on patrol in the Warack province of Afghanistan.

“You raise your right hand and make a promise to this country and sometimes that promise is real, it requires you to give everything,” said Russell’s best friend Kyle Visconti.

Russell was born near Quebec, Canada. He spoke French before he spoke English, but from the time he was a little boy he knew he wanted to be a U.S. soldier.

The 25-year-old earned several awards during his service, including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

“He always pushed everybody to be better no matter what, if you didn’t think you could do it, he did,” said Russell’s friend Mollie Hornstein.

Russell was deployed to Afghanistan in February, and according to a post on his Twitter account, he was planning to return to the U.S. in November.

While Russell is now gone, Visconti said he won’t be forgotten.

“He is my hero.”

If you would like to watch the memorial service, click here.