SAN JOSE, CA, US
2LT,CO C, 5TH BN, 20TH INF REG, 3RD SBCT, JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA
05/23/2012, ZHARAY, AFGHANISTAN
Travis Alan Morgado was born in Los Gatos, California on March 27, 1987. He was an inquisitive child and grew to be an intelligent and caring man. Travis graduated from the University of Washington in 2009 with a BS degree in civil engineering. What follows are details of Travis’s journey and the thoughts of Andrea Velasquez Kessler, Travis’s Mother.
Following graduation Travis told his family of his intentions to enlist in order to return and thank his country for the opportunities he was given. His decision was a surprise. Travis was the first of his family to serve in the military. He was determined to serve his country. Travis’ decision was a difficult one for his family but they stayed positive knowing what he faced in a time of war. Travis applied for Officer Candidate School in the Army and was accepted. He left for basic training in November 2010 and spent the next year in training. Travis completed OCS, Infantry School, Ranger School, and Airborne School. After completion of training he deployed to Afghanistan and joined his platoon in March 2012. He was killed on patrol on May 23, 2012.
Travis touched the lives of so many people. Words cannot begin to describe the wonderful person he became. He genuinely cared about the people he knew and met. His capacity for encouraging others was extraordinary. Travis made people feel that he wanted them to succeed in whatever it was they were trying to do. Travis’s positive influence was felt by everyone that he came in contact with – from long time friends to brief acquaintances.
Growing up Travis asked a million questions. As his mother, I did my best to give him common sense answers to all these questions. He worried about his siblings and his relatives and even his parents. Even when deployed to such a dangerous place, he worried about his family and friends more than himself. He had an incredible memory. By the time he was 10 years old, he knew the names of all the dinosaurs and in which period they lived. After reading Jurassic Park (at age 10) he said “they didn’t even use the right dinosaurs that existed in the Jurassic period.” He was methodical and intense. While in Army training he amazed his fellow soldiers by memorizing their gun numbers, their social security numbers, and even their mother’s and girlfriend’s cell phone numbers. He loved to tease and kid and joke. He had a subtle sense of humor. He was loved by many. He was an amazing man. Travis loved his siblings and small cousins fiercely and had many friends who considered him a brother.
We will keep his life energy in our hearts and minds and remember him as the amazing man that he was. The family suggested that donations go to the Heifer Foundation as a tribute to Travis’s humanitarian nature.