A Tulsa Police officer says it's strange to wake up each morning and not have bombs and rockets blast him out of bed.
Detective Rod Russo just returned home after spending nine months in the war in Iraq. News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright sat down with him to talk about his time away, serving our country.
Tulsa's sex crimes detectives were glad to see one of their fellow officers back from war safe and sound. Rod Russo has been gone a year, with nine months of that time, served in Iraq. The first shocker, was how much his sons had grown in a year, the second is getting re-adjusted to American driving. "Driving in Baghdad, you drive against traffic and you never stop. You force cars out of your way. You can't take a chance of a vehicle born explosive."
Officer Rod Russo at the Tulsa Police Department was Major Russo in Iraq, the company commander of the 403rd Civil Affairs Company, supervising 50 to 70 men and women. They worked to improve Iraq's infrastructure. "They don't show all the good stuff we're doing, rebuilding roads, building schools and sewers, which they didnâ€™t have before Saddam, it's finally starting to smell better over there."
Rod's group celebrated holidays in the war zone and experienced daily rocket attacks and saw plenty of suicide bombings and he says as terrible as the American loss of life is, people don't realize, Iraqi citizens are also dying by the hundreds, to see freedom. "They don't hear about the Iraqi family next to the convoy. And, we're in tanks, so there's only damage, no injuries, but the Iraqi car was destroyed and the whole family killed. The loss of life they face on a daily basis.â€
Russo was overwhelmed by the support he had while in Iraq and when he got home this weekend. He says that support is what keeps all the soldiers going during their hard months away from family and home.
Rod plans to take his sons on a cruise to get re-acquainted after being apart for the past year. He comes back to work at the police department in the middle of August.