Region 8 Soldier Remembered

August 15, 2005--Posted at 6:30 p.m. CST


POCAHONTAS--A soldier from Region 8 is one of the latest casualties in Iraq.  Specialist Rusty Bell, 21, died August 12, 2005, from non-combat related injuries.  He was a helicopter repair worker for the Army, but he is remembered by his family and friends as confident, well liked and an outdoorsman.

Bell was born in Salem, Arkansas, but spent much of his childhood in Mountain Home.  I t was as a student at Pocahontas High School where he made a connection with one of his teachers. 


“I loved his smile and his eyes,” Pocahontas Librarian Lin Hatch said,  “and, he was so appreciative of any opportunity that was given to him.”

Mrs. Hatch even recalls the time Bell called her from Iraq. 


“Rusty had an opportunity when he was in Baghdad…to make a phone call… and he called me, and, that meant more to me than he will ever know,” she said.

Bell’s mother says he loved to read and was a member of the organization called Books For Soldiers.  If anyone would like to make a contribution in his honor, they can do that at

A memorial service will be held for Specialist Rusty Bell at the McNabb Funeral Home in Pocahontas.  Arrangements are pending.