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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2015  04:23:39 PM

Wounded warrior remembered for life of service

Email   Print   Share By Rachel Parks, Sentinel Staff
November 17, 2011 | News
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A Soldier’s Cross, dedicated to the memory of Spc. Russell Richardson Jr., stands at the front of the 73rd Street Chapel Nov. 8. A memorial service was held on post for the well-liked Soldier who was assigned to the WTB at the time of his death. Rachel Parks, Sentinel Staff
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Soldiers from the WTB line up to pay their final respects at the Soldier’s Cross dedicated to Spc. Russell Richardson Jr., at a memorial service held in the 73rd Street Chapel Nov. 8. Richardson was previously assigned to the 3rd ACR before coming to the Fort Hood WTB. Rachel Parks, Sentinel Staff
The life of Spc. Russell Richardson Jr. was honored and remembered Nov. 8 at a memorial service held at the 73rd Street Chapel on Fort Hood.

Richardson, who was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, Warrior Transition Brigade at the time of his death, was remembered as a motivated and dedicated Soldier.

“His decision to serve and to make a difference at such a critical time in our nation’s history speaks volumes about the kind of Soldier Spc. Richardson was,” Lt. Col. Mark Black, 1st Bn. commander, said. “Dedicated, determined and selfless, he will be missed.”

While none of Richardson’s immediate Family was able to attend the ceremony on post, Black assured the Soldiers at the chapel that he had passed along the sentiments of Richardson’s co-workers and friends to his parents and siblings.

“I did pass along to the Family that the Soldiers that served with Spc. Richardson here at Fort Hood were also greatly mourning his passing,” Black said. “(And) that those young Soldiers that served with him, that they loved and deeply respected their son both as a fellow Soldier and as a brother.

“And finally, I let them know that the Soldiers of the Warrior Transition Brigade will never forget their son and brother, Spc. Russell Allen Richardson Jr., and that each member of the Family will always be an honored and cherished member of our Army Family,” he added.

Other Soldiers who spoke at Richardson’s memorial spoke of his many, varied talents. Richardson was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and would often bring his “homework,” consisting of pastries and cakes, into the WTB offices to share with his fellow Soldiers and friends.

“He was smart and creative, and just the kind of person you liked to be around,” Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Vigrass, Richardson’s platoon leader, said during the service.

Vigrass said Richardson left an impact on all who knew him.

“We have suffered a great loss and Spc. Richardson will not be forgotten,” he said. “I only wish that others could have gotten to know him as well as the Soldiers of 2nd Platoon did. Soldiers like Spc. Richardson don’t come along every day.”

Although the Soldiers of the WTB were grieving the sudden loss of a popular and well-like Soldier, Capt. Jason Burford, Co. D commander, asked the large crowd of Soldiers to remember the best of Richardson.

“We can find solace by remembering and honoring the accomplishments of a great Soldier,” he said.

“Today we mourn his passing and we bid a fellow Soldier good-bye. I believe we will all meet again someday in a better place,” Burford added.

Richardson enlisted in the Army on Dec. 4, 2008. After completing basic training, he completed his Advanced Individual Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., in the Military Occupational Specialty of a Motor Transport Specialist.

He served in units at Fort Benning, Ga., Fort Sam Houston and Fort Leonard Wood before coming to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and then the WTB at Fort Hood.

Richardson is survived by his father, Russell Richardson Sr., his mother Lisa Bishop, his step-father, Christopher Bishop, sister Katie Lyn Bishop, brother Nicholas Bishop, and his grandmother Donna Watter.
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