Orange Grove, Texas PFC Colton Wesley Rusk, USMC, age 20, passed away December 6, 2010. He was born in Corpus Christi, Texas September 23, 1990. He attended Orange Grove High School where he excelled in Varsity Sports such as football and baseball. He was a 2 yr letterman in football where he was awarded honorable mention left tackle his Junior Year and second team all district left guard his Senior Year. In Baseball he was a three year lettermen where he was awarded honorable mention designated hitter sophomore year, second team all district pitcher his Junior Year and honorable mention 3rd base his Senior Year. He was also a homerun hitter. Not only did he succeed on the playing field, he was also honored by his fellow classmates and teachers. He was voted Mr. O.G.H. S., Senior Class favorite, Prom King, and the Lupe Ochoa Sportsmanship Memorial Award. Colton enlisted in the delayed entry program of the USMC on 6-16-08, Graduated Orange Grove High School on 6-2-09, Graduated USMC San Diego CA 1-29-10, SOI Camp Pendleton CA - Certified infantry machine gunner 4-14-10, Private First Class 5-1-10. Colton was assigned to 3/5 Darkhorse WPNS Co CATT II Camp Pendleton CA. He was chosen to be sent to South Carolina to American K-9 Interdiction to train for Improvised Explosive Device Detector dog handler. Certified on 6-18-10. It was here that he and Eli became a team. He along with Eli left for OEF Afghanistan on his 20th birthday 9-23-10. His awards include, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal. He is known for his beautiful smile! His motto was "Don't be afraid to go after your hopes and dreams, but don't be afraid to be willing to pay the price". This was what he chose for his motto under his Sr. picture. We have talked to many of his brothers in arms that are still carrying on in Afghanistan and they have all said that Colton saved their lives many times while he was with them and will be greatly missed, but he was their hero.
“Lance Cpl. Colton Rusk was an outstanding Marine who was well respected by his platoon mates and his superiors for his professionalism and his proficiency as a machine gunner,” said Morris. “On December 6, as he swept for secondary improvised explosive devices, Lance Cpl. Rusk was mortally wounded by accurate rifle fire and later succumbed to his wounds.”
“Lance Cpl. Rusk will never be forgotten.”