"The day started out pretty interesting," said Russell. "I was riding in a convoy of 167 trucks inside truck number 34, and there were lots of improvised explosive devices along our path. I had never gone to this particular forward operating base, so I wasn't familiar with the terrain, but some of the guys in my truck noticed things to be a little strange. We went through this one village and nobody was out. Soon nighttime fell upon us and the next thing I remembered was the truck landing," said Russell.
The mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle Russell was riding in was hit by an IED so powerful that it dismantled her truck, ripping off the right side of the vehicle where she was sitting.
Russell suffered a grade two concussion, later classified as a mild form of Traumatic Brain Injury. After a two-year, eight day campaign, Russell finally received her medal.