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Local WMU graduate Drew Russell killed in Afghanistan

by Thom Myers

Oct. 11, 2011 | WMU News

Photo WMU graduate Capt Drew Russell.
Drew Russell
KALAMAZOO--U.S. Army Capt. Drew E. Russell, a 2008 graduate of Western Michigan University from Scotts, Mich., died Saturday, Oct.  8, after insurgents attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade in Afghanistan's Kandahar province.

President John M. Dunn ordered flags on all WMU campuses lowered to half-staff in honor of Russell beginning Thursday, Oct. 13, through interment Thursday, Oct. 20.

"We were saddened to hear of the loss of Capt. Russell, said Lt. Col. Zoltan Krompecher, chair of the WMU Department of Military Science.

"Many of our staff knew Drew and remember him as an outstanding officer and wonderful person. Drew had a great sense of humor, and was always the go-to guy among his peers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Russell family," said Krompecher.

Russell, age 25, was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo.

A 2004 graduate of Vicksburg (Mich.) High School, Russell entered the Army ROTC program at WMU, where he graduated with majors in criminal justice and military science. He had recently been promoted to captain and planned to pursue a career in the military.

Visitation and funeral

Visitation is Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Langeland Family Funeral Homes, 3926 S. 9th St., Kalamazoo.

The funeral service is Thursday, Oct. 20, at 11 a.m. in St. Martin Catholic Church, 5855 East W Ave., Vicksburg. Interment with full military honors will follow in Vicksburg Cemetery, West W Ave. The family has asked military members be in dress uniform.

The WMU ROTC Battalion will hold a fallen soldier ceremony on campus at a date to be announced.