Soldier in shooting on third Iraq tour

WASHINGTON — The soldier charged in the deaths of fellow troops in Baghdad is on his third tour of duty in Iraq, according to his service record.

Excerpts of the record, obtained by The Associated Press, show that Army Sgt. John M. Russell previously did two one-year tours of duty there, one starting in April 2003 and another beginning November 2005.

Russell is charged in the deaths of five troops following a shooting in a stress clinic Monday in Baghdad.

The stress of repeat and extended tours is considered a main contributor to mental health problems among troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Russell's hometown was listed as Sherman, Texas, when he enlisted.

An official said earlier that he believed Russell had enlisted in 1998, but the record shows that he entered the Army National Guard in 1988 instead and served in the Guard until 1994, Russell became an active duty soldier in 1994, the record shows.

It also says Russell served in Serbia through the last half of 1996 and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the last half of 1998.

Russell received several medals and commendations, which the official described as typical for Russell's rank and time in the military. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak on the record.

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