Thursday, August 11, 2011

Army Spc. Jordan M. Morris

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Jordan M. Morris, 23, of Stillwater, Okla.

Spc Morris was assigned to 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.; died Aug. 11, 2011 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Also killed were Sgt. Edward J. Frank II, Spc. Jameel T. Freeman, Spc. Patrick L. Lay II and Pfc. Rueben J. Lopez.

Stillwater-area native was one of five U.S. soldiers killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, military officials said on Sunday.

Army Spc. Jordan M. Morris, 23, was killed Thursday in Kandahar province.

Morris grew up in Ripley, a town 15 miles southeast of Stillwater and 60 miles west of Tulsa.

The town of about 500 people was shaken after hearing of Morris' death, said Doug Scott, assistant principal of Ripley High School, in a phone interview.

"He was just a super young man," Scott said.

Morris was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

According to Fort Drum's website, Morris was an infantryman who joined the Army in January, completed training at Fort Benning, Ga., and came to Fort Drum in March.

Morris deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in June, the military said.

Scott said Morris was intelligent, had a great sense of humor and was very popular in school. He also excelled at baseball.

"He showed his unselfish side by going overseas," Scott said.

Morris, whose father is on the Ripley school board, graduated as a valedictorian from Ripley High School in 2006, said baseball coach Donnie Hoffman, who coached Morris for six years.

Morris was a great leader to his teammates and a great example to his two younger brothers, said Hoffman, who described Morris as highly intelligent and highly motivated.

Friend Caleb Eytcheson, 21, said Morris began thinking about attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point when he was a junior at Ripley High School.

"He wanted to be the best, and he knew West Point is where they trained the best," Eytcheson said. "He wanted to serve his country," he said.

Morris studied mechanical engineering at West Point and may have been only a few hours short of graduation when he entered the Army.

Eytcheson said he and Morris were best friends since seventh grade.

They played on the same baseball team in high school and spent a lot of time going on camping trips with others.

"He was a lot of fun to be around all the time," Eytcheson said. "It was never like being around someone who was cranky. He was always positive."

Eytcheson said he was used to Morris coming home every so often. He said he feels like his friend is still overseas and will be coming home soon.

"Everybody that I talk to are sad and upset," he said. "We're just remembering the good times. That's how Jordan would have wanted it."

Morris' awards and decorations include the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the NATO Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon and the Combat Infantryman Badge, the military said.

Other soldiers killed by the improvised explosive device were Sgt. Edward J. Frank II, 26, of Yonkers, N.Y.; Spc. Jameel T. Freeman, 26, of Baltimore, Md.; Spc. Patrick L. Lay II, 21, of Fletcher, N.C.; and Pfc. Rueben J. Lopez, 27, of Williams, Calif.

Army Spc. Jordan M. Morris was killed in action on 8/11/11.

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