LTC encourages troops support

Lieutenant Colonel Steve Russell says he believes that the American media is portraying the War on Terror as a never-ending battle that we're losing.  But he says that couldn't be farther from the truth.  And says he knows, because he and his soldiers have been there.

LTC Russell and his unit hunted and captured former Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein and helped bring him to justice.  "You think it's possible and you get enough to keep you going and you get encouraged by little successes that add up," Russell said.  "But when we actually got him it was, it will always be, one of the proudest days of my life."

But, he says, even with this victory popular opinion in America still says we're losing the war. And now some prominent leaders are calling for troop withdrawl.  Now he's putting the soldier's voice in the national debate on this war.  "Many people think that American sentiment is a certain way, but it's really the mainstream media, the national media, that's trying to portray it that way," Russell said.  "What I do is provide an alternative that's from the soldier's perspective."

He says even through that victory he's still lost soldiers in this war and their mission isn't over. "I think most Americans want America to be a winner," he said.  "Americans don't like quitters and we don't like losers. That's why it's really surprising that so many are expending so much energy to try to surrender.  I think most Americans in their heart of hearts they want to see success."

And to get success, he says you have to support your troops even if you don't agree with the war.  "Support the soldier.  Don't just say 'I support the soldier' and then undermine the things that he or she is fighting for," he said.  "It's gotta be more than a promise of a hug or a magnet on a car.  People have to take a stand for what our soldiers are fighting for."

LTC Russell says many people think the capture of Saddam Hussein was the result of American intelligence handed down to the unit closest to the area where he was.  But Russell said that wasn't the case.  He said it took him and his soldiers six months to track down Saddam's inner circle until they got on his trail.