March 26, 2003
Posted at: 6:00 p.m. CST
JONESBORO, Ark. -- For better or worse, the outcome of the War in Iraq will always be remembered through video images and still photographs.
One Region 8 woman hasn't spoken with her fiance in six weeks. On Wednesday morning, she was reunited with him thanks to in an Associated Press photograph that could be seen in newspapers and television sets all over the world.
It is kind of hard to make out, but Sgt. Steven Brussel was the subject of an embedded photographer's work as he made his way to his Bradley Fighting Vehicle in a severe sandstorm in Central Iraq on March 25. Brussel, a Jonesboro native and graduate of Valley View High School, is a member of Task Force 4-64 of the Army's Third Infantry Division.
"He would trade anything for these guys, his own life if need be," Brussel's fiance Lasha Simpkins said.
"It was a sense of relief, because I knew where he was and he was OK."
Simpkins says that Brussel's reaction would be quite different if he knew he could be seen all over the world, saying that "he would be embarrassed -- probably."
According to his older brother Mike, Brussel has nothing to be embarrassed about.
"Not everybody gets to be apart of history the way he is," Mike Brussel said. "That's quite an accomplishment. (It is) something he can tell his kids in the future."
Sgt. Brussel joined the military to further his life. It was a decision he made with his mother, a former member of the military. Since being with the Army for three years, he's quickly climbed ranks and received several medals for his United Nations peacekeeping work in Kosovo.
"He's always been very patriotic, he's a leader definitely," Mike Brussel said.
Both family members admit that they have been glued to the coverage of the war on television.
"To make sure everything's going well for him and the troops and general," Simpkins said.
But these two are staying confident about the war's outcome by following a motto Brussel lives by.