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When Joel Russell faced death in combat as a Marine serving in Vietnam, he made a promise to God. That promise was kept when Russell published Escaping Death’s Sting: A Combat Marine’s Life Story as his testimony of faith.Russell was born the 11th child and 7th son in a family of 12 in Columbus, Ohio. As a child, Joel faced several hardships that would have been challenging for the strongest of men. Joel was nearly crushed to death at age 4, was brutally beaten and threatened with death when raped at age 10, and at age 15 was left behind after a football game 100 miles from home in sub-zero weather. At age 16 he fled to Seattle to protect his older brother from the mafia and then joined the Marines.

In boot camp he was framed and unjustly sent to Correctional Custody Platoon. Russell arrived in Vietnam at the height of the 1968 Tet Offensive and three weeks later his unit was dropped in a hot Landing Zone and went from 250 men to only 75 in less than four hours. During that skirmish, Russell suffered a near-mortal wound that sent him in a new direction.

At Khe-Sanh, Russell was hit by enemy mortar shrapnel and nearly died. But God told Joel it was not his time to die as he had another mission for him. Joel Russell’s life was now changed forever. During a “burning bush” encounter with God, Russell was commanded by God to share his faith and spiritual journey in a book which he has now done with Escaping Death’s Sting.

For his service to the nation, Russell earned a Purple Heart with combat V and a Navy Achievement Medal for his daring acts in Vietnam.

Russell, married with two adult children, is owner and president of ASD Systems, president of Monitoring Communication Services, and president of World Wide Alarm, Inc. – all successful companies. He has lived in Ohio, Missouri, and Seattle and has travelled throughout the United States, Caribbean islands, Norway, Australia, Canada and Mexico. He now lives in Bonney Lake, Washington.