(DOUG JESSOP – JESSOP’S JOURNEYS – ABC4 NEWS – SALT LAKE CITY, UT) Sgt. Michael Russo is a “17 Echo Electronic Warfare Specialist” with the Army National Guard.

He did let us know that “all opinions are my own and not the Department of Defense, as I’m not a public spokesperson for the National Guard, the Military or the Department of Defense.”

Now that the technical stuff is out of the way, I had a chance to ask Sgt. Russo why he was serving in the military. It comes down to family.

It was interesting to learn that his grandfather, Gennaro Luigi Russo, was born in Italy. He emigrated to the United States and volunteered to serve in World War II. Gennaro served in the 5th Armored Division, 707th Tank Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment. He drove a M4 Sherman Tank and served in the Battle of the Bulge.  Sgt. Russo recounted a story of his grandfather’s tank running out of fuel and having to walk twenty miles across enemy lines to get to safety.

Sgt. Russo rolled up his sleeve to show me his first tattoo… the insignia of his grandfather’s unit.

I noticed some Greek letters around the military unit tattoo. He explained that they were fraternity letters and that were actually being removed. Why are they being removed? Sgt. Russo replied, “I got the wrong placement.” He likes the tattoo. He is getting removed and will add is somewhere else on his body.

How is he getting the tattoo removed? “I’m going through a company called Tatt2Away.” He described the process as a “series of dots probably space a couple millimeters apart. She will then take what looks very similar to a tattoo gun and remove the top layer of skin. It’s very similar to getting a tattoo.”

Sgt. Russo continued; “Basically the area scabs up a little bit and eventually the scabs will fall off on their own and the scabs will be the color of the tattoo. It will actually remove the ink out of the body entirely.

Everyone has a story. I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”

You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.

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With another entry into Jessop’s JourneysPeople, Places and Things you might not know about. I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.

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Doug Jessop
For Doug Jessop, it all started with a cassette recorder he got for Christmas when he was 12 years old growing up in Southern California. Doug interviewed relatives, friends and anyone else that might have a good story. You can follow Doug at www.DougJessop.com, on YouTube.com/DougJessop, and @DougJessopNews on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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