The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl calls itself the “Bowl of the Braves” and we all know that is not just a trivial slogan from an MBA marketer.
The sacrifice of men and women in the service of the country is no small gesture.
“I wanted to do something bigger than myself and serve my country,” says Jed Morgan, a former US Navy, if there is one. old US Navy.
Morgan, walking around the Veterans Village using prosthetics to act as legs, is the face incarnation of the ball game motto. Morgan’s is a story of bravery before and after a catastrophic injury in which both legs were torn from his lower half, following his inadvertent triggering of an improvised explosive device during a combat tour of Afghanistan in 2012.
“I thought I was in a dream for a while,” Morgan said, recalling the moment of the incident. “But I didn’t remember falling asleep, so I was trying to figure out what was going on. When [his fellow soldiers] ran to put tourniquets, that’s when I realized what was going on.
In addition to losing her legs, her right hand and arm were severely mutilated.
Morgan, now a resident of Medford, Oregon, and Andrew Bottrell, a Navy veteran, received Can-Am all-terrain vehicles from the Texas-based Freedom Mobility Foundation on Wednesday in the second quarter of the Army’s 24-22 victory over Missouri. night at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Morgan’s first battalion, the Seventh Marines, was deployed to Sangin Province. For three months, the regiment carried out foot patrols four to seven hours a day. One day, his unit stopped to rest on top of a hill. Morgan was a squad’s automatic gunner.
As the unit settled into a defensive position on the hill, Morgan grazed the pressure plate of an IED. At this point in the conflict, everyone knew what the sudden blinding light was. An EID had burned down. Everyone except Morgan knew that. He was momentarily in shock as he was knocked over on his back. Morgan was evacuated by helicopter and eventually sent to Landstuhl, Germany, where his wife Anna and parents were waiting for him.
Morgan needed two years of rehabilitation for his physical injuries and to learn to walk with prosthetics.
“Mentally, it took a while,” he says.
Studies show that emotional well-being can be catastrophically affected by amputation. Many suffer from anxiety and depression, some of which is caused when the body image, the psychological image of oneself, is disturbed.
“I was dealing with anger and frustration,” Morgan says. “And I got away from God for a while.”
One day he looked at himself in the mirror.
“I said, ‘I don’t want to be that person for my wife and my family,’” he says. “I turned him over to Christ, thanking him for all he has done for me and keeping me alive for a purpose.
“He has a reason for what happened to me.”
He made a very courageous choice.
He works with the White Heart Foundation, which uses “eco-adventure therapy,” taking veterans from Wyoming and Colorado on whitewater rafting, rock climbing and things like that. The therapy has been shown to be an effective antidote for PTSD.
He is also now leading Bible studies in his church.
Despite the absence of both legs and without the full use of his right arm, Morgan is whole again. And it wouldn’t change a thing, including the decision to enter the Marine Corps a year after high school graduation.
“The only way we can grow is through adversity and hardship,” he says. “I was at a point in my life where I was sort of stuck in my walk with Christ. It made me grow in a way that I never could have had otherwise. It brought me closer to Christ and made me a better person. It gave me the opportunity to help others and gave me a voice that I wouldn’t have otherwise.