Local Soldier Heads to Iraq for Christmas

12-12-05 - It's a Christmas season that will be different for dozens of local families and thousands across the nation. Loved ones are risking their lives in the war on terror.

Specialist Russell Jowell had just three months to go before his contract with the army was up, but in October, the 22-year-old received word he would be heading for Iraq right before Christmas. When he told his family the news, they decided to change Christmas plans, celebrating with their son last night and today, before his departure to fort hood.

His parents are proud. Jowell has been with the army for three years, but says the holidays will be different this year.

In 2003, he served in Korea with the un command honor guard. He expects combat in Iraq to be much more dangerous.

Jowell doesn't know where he'll be stationed or what his duties will be. He leaves for Kuwait tomorrow night, and expects to actually be in Iraq around new years.

Jowell's family is sending him over with a video camera to keep in touch.