Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Taylor Morris, Determined to Recover After Afghan Blast

Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier  June 2, 2012

Taylor Morris remembers and feels everything. He remembers the explosion that blew him off the ground and took portions of all his limbs.

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.”

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June 3, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Technical Sgt. Matthew S. Schwartz, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, killed in Afghanistan

Traverse City Record Eagle

TRAVERSE CITY — A former Traverse City resident died in combat in Afghanistan during his sixth tour of duty, family members said.

Technical Sgt. Matthew S. Schwartz, 34, a 1996 graduate of Traverse City Central High School, died Wednesday after a bomb blast, said his grandmother, Pat Bristol.

Schwartz was a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, had been based in Cheyenne, Wyo., and served as an explosive ordnance disposal specialist in Afghanistan.

He also served in the war in Iraq.

He had a wife, Jenny, also formerly of Traverse City, and three young daughters, Bristol said.

January 6, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , , , | Leave a comment