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Freshman Congressman Honored To Serve Oklahoma On Capitol Hill

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Steve Russell spent time in the battlefields of Iraq, his battalion even helped take down Saddam Hussein. Now, he's taking his skills to Washington DC, in the middle of his first term representing Oklahoma as a U.S. congressman. Steve Russell spent time in the battlefields of Iraq, his battalion even helped take down Saddam Hussein. Now, he's taking his skills to Washington DC, in the middle of his first term representing Oklahoma as a U.S. congressman.
Washington D.C. -

Steve Russell spent time in the battlefields of Iraq, his battalion even helped take down Saddam Hussein.

Now, he's taking his skills to Washington DC, in the middle of his first term representing Oklahoma as a U.S. congressman. Some are calling him an up and comer.

"I don't know if any of that is true," Rep. Russell told Kelly Ogle during a visit to the nation's Capitol. "One thing that I've learned is you do the best you can."

Russell, an Oklahoma state senator for four years before his election to Congress, wants to be part of the solution in Washington.

"Now we're not going to agree on everything but for the most part I think that people want to see are we diligent, are we doing the work, and the truth is yes, we are," Russell said. "I take great comfort in knowing that I represent the type of people I do in Oklahoma that gives me such courage."

With foreign policy and national defense his areas of expertise, Russell said a typical day on Capitol Hill includes committee hearings, working on initiatives and bills and of course fundraising. He said he also devotes his mornings to staying fit by exercising five days a week.

Kelly Ogle: What would surprise the average Oklahoman the most if you said 'I want you to sit in this chair a week?

Russell: "I think there are several things. The hours that we put in, they would be shocked. I mean, you literally are working from sun up to way past sundown. I think that they would also recognize that even when you're off, you're not. You're a public figure, a public face, people recognize you and even though they may not bother you or say anything, you are constantly on the job and you know I'm comfortable with that."

He and his wife Cindy have five grown children and are now empty-nesters.

"We enjoy being together, she also is excited that we're doing this, that we're a partnership together but if she feels the need to travel home, she will and not be ashamed to spend time with the kids," he said.

Kelly Ogle: What are you wearing on your lapel?

Russell: "I'm wearing the combat infantry badge. You get that with close quarters fighting with an enemy and it usually resorts in somebody dying."

He earned the badge in Iraq. His military career also including tours in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Kosovo.

Kelly Ogle: Do people still come up to you and want to talk about Saddam Hussein?

Russell: "All the time."

In fact, he still travels to speak about his book, "We Got Him!: A Memoir of the Hunt and Capture of Saddam Hussein." But now, he's ready for a different fight, in the trenches of the 114th Congress making decisions he hopes will help shape the next half century.

"I know how to defend the constitution, I've been doing it since I was 18, and I'll let that, along with the bible, and a Judeo-Christian biblical viewpoint of the world be my guide in the decisions I make, and I'll sleep like a baby at night," he said.

Steve and Cindy Russell make their home in Choctaw, Oklahoma, and are members of First Southern Baptist Church of Del City.

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