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POSTED ON 7.8.2018
POSTED BY: Mike Cryer

Ode to the Commander

Ode To The Commander
Russell Earl Voris

The Class of 1968 yearbook says Russ was from “Buffalo Chip” Missouri and his biggest adjustment at the Academy was having to wear shoes every day. He loved that homespun image and who can forget the visual he created of a cow and a flat rock for the sound of a heavy thunderstorm.

In order to talk about Russ and USAFA Lacrosse in the 60’s I will need to tell a little about the team and myself. For the most part we were high school football players who needed another outlet for our physical energy since we may have been a little smaller or a step slower than the NCAA Division I football players.

In my case I had done intramural football, boxing and lacrosse before Russ Murray asked me to join the Lacrosse Club. That’s when I met Russ. Since he was an attack guy and I was a defenseman, I can’t remember whether we met through a slap check, poke check or cross body block but I’m pretty sure I didn’t help him up.

We also met Combat Kelly and learned the joy of interval running – one whistle run, two whistles walk. I think ” Frenchie” Crotteau is still running somewhere because practice wasn’t over until nobody could run and we’d have to tell him to stop.

During the Junior year transfer Russ & I ended up in Friendly First Squadron where Gene Lupia handed out nicknames. I became the Elf and unfortunately we were sophomoric before Seinfeld and there are only a few words that rhyme with Voris or Dolores.

We roomed together during Lacrosse season our Junior and Senior years. We were the “Odd Couple” before Neil Simon penned his play.

Russ was a Bible Belt Baptist and went to church every Sunday – I had joined Usher Flight as a doolie so I didn’t have to march to church or run to breakfast.

Russ didn’t drink - I spent a few Sundays with the hangover flight in the back pews.

Russ was our Squadron Commander - I was our Athletic Officer.

Russ was an All-American - I drove the bus to breakfast when I wasn’t supposed to.

Russ was always nice – I was Mr. Vice.

Russ drove a GTO - I drove a Porsche.

Russ graduated #1 in his major with a 3.6 GPA – I was glad they had a curve that supported a 2.5.

God’s mysterious ways continued when we were assigned to the same pilot training class, 70B, at Randolph AFB, TX. Russ volunteered to room with me again. He kept our illegal breakfast skillet shiny clean since a day didn’t start without bacon and eggs.

Russ studied on Friday nights and I continued my search for the perfect Scotch Whiskey.

John Carson asked us to escort two young ladies to the Officers Club one night during pilot training. When they arrived it was obvious they were too young to be there but it was too late to send them home. When the party was over Russ offered to drive every one home but I insisted on going alone. My date’s boyfriend met us at the door with four of his friends. Russ was still up when I got home and took me to the Emergency Room for my stitches.

He stood up at my wedding.

Russ finished first or second in the pilot training class and took an A-37 to Vietnam.

My orbital floor fracture held me back a few months but I took an OV-10 to Vietnam.

When I got to the Phillipines we had a mandatory Intelligence briefing. As I scanned the information on the walls of the room I found a grease pencil board with Russell E. Voris at the top. I knew he had a Distinguished Flying Cross before I ever got to the war!! Then I saw the title – KIA.

I knew then as I know today that when Russ turned for that final shot he was still going for the upper right hand corner.

Russ wasn’t just my friend – He was my brother.

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POSTED ON 4.7.2016
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear 1LT Russel Earl Voris, sir

As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

With respect, Sir

Curt Carter
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POSTED ON 5.25.2015
POSTED BY: Russell Powell

My Life Was Shaped by a Man I Never Met

My name is Russell. It's a fairly uncommon name. So much so that if I'm in a place where there's two of us and someone calls the name out, I almost always respond because I assume they're talking to me. Guys named Bob and John probably don't do that. So why did my parents name me Russell? Because my dad had a cousin that he respected immensely. A man of great honor and integrity. A man of dedication and ability. A man who wanted to serve and protect his country so he joined the Air Force and became a fighter pilot. And sadly, a man who was shot down and died of his wounds in the Vietnam War. I wish I could say I live up to his example every day. I don't. But every year, Memorial Day weekend serves as a time of reflection and remembrance of the man for whom I'm named. And his example is an encouragement to work hard and the serve others. And in this way, my life was shaped by a man I never met.
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POSTED ON 10.17.2011
POSTED BY: Robert Sage

We Remember

Russel is buried at Reed Cemetery, Halfway, Polk County,MO.
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POSTED ON 6.24.2010
POSTED BY: Judy (Voris) McElwain

40th Anniversary

Today is the 40th anniversary of my brother's death in the Vietnam War. He was shot down during a mission over Cambodia on June 24, 1970. Our whole family misses him dearly. He was such a fine Christan young man.
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