More of the Dan Russell story

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My only OCS mate at MacArthur was Charlie Sprinkle who worked with the survivor assistance program. During my almost year in LA I got to see and meet many celebrities. At Mac I hosted Omar Bradley twice and Rudy Vallee entertained at my club twice. Mr Vallee even had Jill and I over to his Hollywood mansion as his guests. That was just before his fading career got resurrected with the smast hit "How to Succeed in Business . . ." Maybe the gigs I gave him got him the extra exposure he needed, ha ha.

I ran into Lee Marvin 3 times, saw lots of great shows and concerts with gratis tickets, such as Dean Martin, Anthony Newly and Barbara McNair. Somehow in line to get into the McNair show, Jill and I were singled out to be on the show (a pseudo cabaret set). At our table Barbara sang to us and then acted like she was my date at another table and Jackie Mason came up as dressed as a waiter and ran his fingers through my hair declaring "No wonder there's an oil shortage in the Middle East". Clearly that was my 15 minutes of fame. I have some grainy 35mm shots of the tv screen taken by the post vet to prove it. The McNair show was never archived.

Dan Russell Viet Nam 1970Lt. Russell Civil Affairs Cu Chi, Viet Nam

I like most of us was next ordered for duty in Vietnam. I don't know about the rest of you, but I arrived at Cam Ran Bay very wary because my duty assignment had not been determined. Rumors ran rampant that many were called on lead infantry platoons (I really didn't want to be the next Lt Dan). As luck would have it I was sent to Cu Chi to run another motor pool. I had a super tough master sergeant from the south (weren't they all?) who really ran the motor pool. I did that for a couple of months until things came to a head. He was hammering hard on a few pot smoking African American soldiers who had declared their intention not to work for Whities' Army and they ended up fragging him with grenades under his hooch one night. Fortunately he was saved by the floor boards and mattress, but he was'nt the same after that. Shook him up. I was then assigned to be Battalion S-5 Intelligence Officer. I was given a jeep and a sergeant and organized pacification missions such as Medcaps to villages, helping villagers build schools, and taking soldiers and goodies to the kids at Rose Orphanage outside Saigon.

I had a job waiting for my return from Vietnam at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis where first was sent as a pharmaceutical sales rep in Racine WI for 3 years. There Jill and bought a neat 100 yr old 3 story brick and stone fix-me-up that was across the street from Lake Michigan. My club officer's quarters at Ft Mac were in a spacious old brick duplex overlooking a beautiful palm grove and the Pacific Ocean. With those 2 residences so early in my adult life I established unrealistic expectations for future homes. Be assured I learned to accept less.

In 74 I was promoted into the home office in Indy. I literally went from big fish in little pond to little fish in big pond. I first worked in Marketing and then found a niche in Managing Clinical Trials of new drugs. I worked with antibiotics, cancer and cardio, but my claim to fame was that I started and managed all of the initial Prozac safety and efficacy studies at major medical centers all over the country. I got to know all of the big cities and a lot of famous psychiatrists. In the 90s early buy outs came in vogue and I accepted an offer I couldn't refuse: an extra years salary and full retirement pay and benefits for my family and I for life - 3 months after I turned 50. In the time since, I have stressed travel, hobbies, volunteerism and playing the markets.

Jill and I were blessed with identical twin daughters...Erin and Lauren in 74. Today Erin is a veterinarian and lives with her husband, Owen, and sons James and Finn in Redmond, Washington. Lauren got her masters at Cornell and is a Foreign Service officer for the state department and has been stationed at U. S. embassies all over the world. I have visited her in Moscow, Belgrade, and Bangkok and traveled with her in S E Asia and the British Isles. She will be at USAID headquarters in D. C. for the next 3 years. She and husband Ben have a daughter Elizabeth (Ellie).

Sadly Jill and I were divorced in 1981 and lives in Seattle. We have maintained a friendship of sorts. In 1984 I Married Wendy Lee, a Medical doctor from Beijing. We celebrate our 29th anniv next month. We have a son Lee, 26, who got his Psych degree from Indiana Univ. Our 16 yr old daughter May Lin is an accomplished ballet dancer and straight A soph in HS.

I think I have someone watching over me at times. I was offered a full retirement and extra year's salary at the age of 50 in Dec 1993. My Lilly 401k and great performance of its portfolio have made my retirement comfortable. In my 20 years of retirement I have traveled worldwide. My hobbies are travel, photography, geology, Indian artifacts, and collecting medical and drugstore antiques which occupy 2 rooms in my basement. I am a resource for Eli Lilly on its history and completed all of the displays in the Colonel Lilly 1877 Laboratory Museum on the Lilly Campus. I am also on the Board and Curator of the Hooks Drugstore Museum located on the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds here in Indy.

I now live with Wendy, Lee and May Lin in a home in Indianapolis along Fall Creek (really a river). I have 2 and a half acres of my own but because we live on a large protected area below a reservoir dam we have 100 acres of woodlands behind us. I stay in shape building trails and landscaping. I love to hike and have better trails along the river that I have created than the one's in Ft Benjamin Harrison State Park just down river from us. By the way when Ft Ben was decommissioned I was on the reuse committee that fought developers and made into a pristine state park. I love to hike in my paradise and 9 times out of ten I see no other human, it's just me and the deer, beaver and Great Blues. Come join me sometime.

For hobbies I like photography, collect rocks and fossils, am a successful Indian artifact hunter and have traveled all over the world, including extensively in Europe, Africa, S America, and Asia including Tibet and 7 times to China. I don't cook.

Dan Russell at Super Bowl XLVIDan at Super Bowl XlVI after Giants won

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