Overseas Civilian Contractors

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Bomb Blast robs Navy EOD Taylor Morris of parts of four limbs

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Taylor Morris, right, sits with a fellow service member in Afghanistan during a lull in a firefight.

But the 23-year-old’s inner strength and determination remain undented

Des Moines Register

The bomb blast in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, earlier this month took so much from Taylor Morris, a former soccer player and top-notch wrestler at Cedar Falls High School.

Morris, 23, lost his right leg at the knee, his left leg at mid-thigh, his right arm at the wrist and his left arm at the elbow.

But somehow, the explosion did little damage to his major organs. And it didn’t dent his determination to recover and move on with his life. His parents are grateful for both those blessings.

“We are blessed in that his organs and core received only scratches … and we are thankful for that,” said Juli Morris, Taylor’s mother.

Taylor Morris, a U.S. Navy explosive ordnance disposal technician, was wounded May 3 by an improvised explosive device while on foot patrol with U.S. forces in Kandahar province.

He had only arrived in Afghanistan in February, his first deployment.

He joined the Navy right out of high school in 2007 and has always been interested in Navy special operations, his mother said.

Based at Virginia Beach, he underwent 10 months of training in disarming and disposing explosive ordnance, in addition to underwater dive training and parachute jump school so he could accompany Special Forces on missions. Based at Virginia Beach, he was attached to a unit of Army Green Berets at the time he was wounded.

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June 5, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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