Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Taylor Morris, Determined to Recover After Afghan Blast
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier June 2, 2012
He still feels his hands — every knuckle, every fingernail — as though they’re knotted up inside him and being crushed, and the stinging where his legs were, as though they’ve fallen asleep.
But he feels other things, too, the recuperating Cedar Falls sailor told the Courier Wednesday in an exclusive interview from his hospital room at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
He feels the love and support of a family and his girlfriend, Danielle Kelly, who have never left his side. Of his comrades in arms, including fellow amputees, at Walter Reed who give him hope for recovery. Of his brothers and sisters who are working to raise funds for whatever expenses may be ahead for his eventual homecoming. Of folks in Northeast Iowa he barely knew or never knew — from a classmate organizing a fundraiser at Tony’s La Pizzeria, to the lady in New Hampton who simply wanted to know where to send a check.
He wants people back home to know he appreciates the support, and that he’s determined to fight back to recover on his own terms.
“Tell folks back home I chose this path, and I knew it was dangerous going into it,” Morris said from his hospital room at Walter Reed via Skype and telephone. “And it’s unfortunate it happened. But I don’t want them to pity me or to feel bad. I’m doing fine, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get back to 100 percent.”
Morris, 23, a 2007 graduate of Cedar Falls High School and a U.S. Navy explosive ordnance disposal expert, suffered debilitating injuries from a bomb blast while on patrol with U.S. Army Special Forces troops in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. He lost portions of both legs, his left arm at the elbow and his right hand.
“So far, everything’s been ahead of schedule” in his recovery, Morris said. “It’s pretty miraculous.”