In this week's Hometown Heroes segment, we profile a man who's served in three different wars. Here is the story of Colonel Gerald Russell.
"When a challenge comes to defend our country, no matter what the circumstances appear, we should do it; we should do it, no matter what..."
Colonel Gerald Russell is 93 years old. He Joined the Marine Corps after college, commanding troops in World War Two, Korea, and served in Vietnam. He says those wars were out of necessity.
"We actually knew the threat that was against us, where now it's a little bit difficult to do that."
The Colonel has an opinion on the fight going on overseas now.
"My personal feeling is that we shouldn't police the world but other countries should begin to take over."
Colonel Russell says he's been "hit" four times while fighting, and has the medals to prove it. He's even beaten Malaria. But he says it could have been much worse.
"...I have 4 Purple Hearts, and I feel I was pretty lucky to be able to have the opportunity to defend my country..."
After retiring, he became an Associate Dean in Health and Human Development at Penn State where he taught command classes. He sent his daughter to Penn State too. He was close with Joe Paterno, and met Presidents Carter, Reagan, and Bush Sr. A true American hero, he's well worth the accolades, and says he was just responding to a call to arms.
"I think that all of us when the opportunity arises, we should, and if our country's in danger we should come to defend it."
Colonel Russell, still lives in Centre County. He's one of central Pennsylvania's finest. No doubt, Colonel Gerald Russell is a Hometown Hero.