I had the great pleasure to speak to Russell McGilliveray who recently deployed to Iraq via Kuwait. Russell has been training for a long time to serve you and me, to make sure we have the opportunity to train in a free society. I don't care what capacity a military member serves in, they have my respect and are as much responsible for my freedom and that of my family as any other human being. I truly appreciate their sacrifice (and it is that, a sacrifice) so that I can write this blog, train in MMA, hunt, fish, hug a tree, grow my hair, or whatever I want to do.
I asked Russell to help us by giving a little background on himself and why he supports Tupelo BJJ. Here is his response. If you care to reply, please do so at the email address below and on the blog. Just click the comments button below. Russell is supporting TBJJ, shouldn't TBJJ be supporting him and others like him?
Sorry its taken so long to reply. I've been a little busy and have had problems sending emails. Let me know what you think. I fly out on Saturday to Kuwait. I will be there a few days then move on to Iraq. I should have internet access though. Thanks a lot.
I live in Pontotoc, Ms. I've lived there since the 4th grade. Before that I lived in Tuscaloosa, Al where I was born.
I've been mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom since May 1st. I've been at Camp Shelby for most of that time training and preparing to go overseas. I just got back on the 22nd from Fort Mccoy, Wi where I was going through a combat medic pre-deployment course. Oh, that is my job with the military, a combat medic. which I really love doing.
My biggest challenge has to be being away from my kids. I have an 8yr old son and a 5yr old son. I've only been gone for about 2 months and its been pretty hard not seeing them. My father is battling lung cancer as well and not being there to help him is really hard to do.
I would like to say that their are a lot of soldiers going over, most of them are there now, that are from your towns and communities. Just don't forget them. Don't be afraid to tell them thanks. They have trained hard and are ready do to whatever it takes to prevail and come home.
I've been interested in MMA since I was about 15 and rented UFC 1. That was back in '95 and I have been hooked ever since. I'm definately a beginner. I am a member of TBJJ but have not been actively training there for the past couple of years. I just live vicariously through others that still train.
I should be able to train while in Iraq. I've heard there is a combative program there. Also I've heard they have a ring and supposedly have fights. So I'm ready to see what that is all about. I looked on the internet and saw some fight clips from where I will be at so hopefully they still have that going on.
THANKS FOR SHARING RUSSELL. WE ALL SUPPORT YOU AND HOPE YOU WILL KEEP US POSTED. TRAIN HARD AND KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN.