SPOKANE VALLEY, WA, USA U.S. Marines CPL, E BTRY, 2D BN, 10TH MAR, (TFMP, I MEF FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC BAGHDAD, IRAQ 01/21/2007
Darrel J. Morris learned early that he had to stay focused and work hard. When he was 9 and his sister, Danielle, was 6, their mother, who struggled with drugs, failed to come home one day. When the food ran out, Morris decided to hold a garage sale so he could earn money to feed himself and his little sister. One weekend, neighbors noticed Morris _ who was in third grade at the time _ trying to drag a couch out the front door all by himself. The children were taken in by their aunt and uncle, Kim and Mik Cole.
“For him, everything was a gift,” said Mik Cole. “Rather than he deserved it. He understood that if he wanted something, he had to work for it.”
Morris, 21, of Spokane, Wash., was killed Jan. 21 when his vehicle hit a bomb at an Anbar province checkpoint. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune.
The Reverend Michael Rice-Sauer described Morris as a go-getter, a guy who was never late and one who paid careful attention to the details. But there was one thing that could slow Morris down. “A mirror,” he said. Morris was so neat and orderly that he wouldn’t even tolerate smudges on his tennis shoes. To his aunt’s dismay, he would use her dish towels to clean off his shoes.
Darrel grew up with the will and desire to be number one in all things he involved himself in. Whether it was football or just “lookin’ good”, Darrel excelled! As the minister stated during the funeral, “Darrel spent a lot of time in front of a mirror to make sure that he did, indeed, look good! It is no wonder, then, that he became a Marine! Those “Dress Blue” were made for Darrel!”
From a fellow Marine:
“Stationed at Camp Lejeune after completing a tour in Iraq, Darrel volunteered for another deployment! When Uncle Mike (Dad) tried to convince him against volunteering to return to Iraq, Cpl Morris looked his dad in the eyes and asked, “Dad, if you saw a woman being beaten in the street, wouldn’t you help her?” Darrel said that those people need our help, that we are doing our duty and defending America by being over there. He needed to go back. Uncle Mike understood!
As the third stanza of our Marines Hymn states: “……. If the Army and the Navy ever took on Heavens scenes, they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines!” Corporal Darrel J. Morris has joined those Marines who have gone before him, and is now standing guard at Heavens Gate.
God Bless Corporal Morris and his family and all Marines, past and present!”