Melvin Morris, born on January 7, 1942, is a distinguished United States Army veteran, renowned for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War. A Special Forces soldier, Morris's valorous service earned him the highest military honor, the Medal of Honor.
Early Life and Struggles: Hailing from Okmulgee, Oklahoma, Morris's journey began in 1942. In 1959, he joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard, later transitioning to active duty in the United States Army. His commitment to service and dedication to excellence paved the way for an exceptional military career.
Military Enlistment and Heroics: In 1961, Morris achieved a significant milestone, becoming one of the first U.S. Army soldiers to qualify as a Green Beret at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Undoubtedly, his skills and bravery were soon put to the test as he volunteered for two tours in South Vietnam. Morris's defining moment came on September 17, 1969, while commanding the Third Company, Third Battalion of the IV Mobile Strike Force near Chi Lăng, South Vietnam.
Defining Moment: Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris displayed unparalleled courage during a mission to recover the body of a fallen comrade. Despite being shot three times, Morris single-handedly destroyed enemy bunkers that were pinning down his battalion. His actions, as detailed in the Medal of Honor Citation, reflect extraordinary heroism and selflessness.
Post-War Life and Career: After retiring from the U.S. Army with the rank of Sergeant First Class, Morris continued to contribute to the military community. In the Spring 2019 issue of the American Battlefield Trust's magazine Hallowed Ground, he shared insights into his visit to Fort Wagner, highlighting the historical connection to Sergeant William Harvey Carney's Medal of Honor in 1863. In 1990, Morris and his family settled in Brevard County, Florida, marking the beginning of a new chapter.
Military Awards and Decorations: Melvin Morris's remarkable service is recognized through a plethora of military awards and decorations. The most prestigious among them is the Medal of Honor, presented to him by President Barack Obama on March 18, 2014. His extensive list of awards includes the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Infantryman Badge, Meritorious Service Medal, and many more, attesting to his unwavering dedication and exceptional contributions to the U.S. Army.
Conclusion: Melvin Morris's story is one of resilience, bravery, and unwavering commitment to duty. His actions in the face of danger and sacrifice serve as an inspiration to all. As we honor Morris's legacy, let us remember the profound impact of his service on the nation and express gratitude for the sacrifices made by individuals like him in the pursuit of freedom and justice.