Arizona solder killed in Afghanistan; ASU ROTC hosting memorial

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on July 25, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 1 at 3:24 PM

PHOENIX -- The Sun Devil ROTC Battalion will host a memorial service for one its own, an infantry officer killed while on duty in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan.

According to the university, 1st Lt. Jonam Russell was commissioned through the battalion in May 2011, the day he graduated from the W.P. Carey School of Business.

Russell, whose parents live in Cornville, was killed by a suicide bomber while on foot patrol Tuesday morning.

According to the Department of Defense, Sgt. Stefan Smith, 24, of Glennville, Ga., and Spc. Rob Nichols, 24, of Colorado Springs were killed in the same enemy attack.

The three were stationed at Fort Stewart in Georia. In February, Russell tweeted that he was on his way to Afghanistan and expected to be back stateside in November or so.

"1LT Russell made a huge impact on everyone he came in contact with, always making the best of any situation and keeping the Soldiers around him morale high," reads the 2nd Battalion 11th Infantry Regiment's Facebook page.

ASU will be holding a memorial ceremony in Old Main on ASU's Tempe Campus on Friday morning, July 26 at 10 a.m. The Sun Devil Battalion will broadcast the ceremony live on YouTube. The link will be available on the ASU Army ROTC Program Facebook page at 9a.m.

Everyone wishing to pay their respects is welcome.

Russell was 25 years old.

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