Injured Marine honored with Senate Joint Resolution

By Lesley Jenkins
star staff

Delivery. Delivery from state officials honoring your son.
   Lee and Lisa Morrow, 362 Pine Hill Rd., were pleasantly surprised Saturday morning when they received a hand-delivered package from Tennessee government officials honoring their son, Nathan Morrow, 23.
   Lance Corporal Nathan Morrow suffered serious injuries from an improvised explosive device in Iraq. He is recovering and receiving treatment for his injuries in California, where he remains on active duty at Camp Pendleton.
   A Senate Joint Resolution was presented to his parents describing the honor of his duties and the injuries he suffered, signed by Senators Rusty Crowe, David Davis, and Jerome Cochran, Speaker of the Senate and Lt. Governor John S. Wilder, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Jimmy Naifeh, and Governor Phil Bredesen.
   Senate Joint Resolution No. 944 reads, "Whereas, in January 2004, he was called into active duty with Weapons Platoon, Lima Company 3rd Battalion, 24th Marines, 1st Marine Division; after training at Camp Pendleton, California, he was deployed to Iraq; and
   "Whereas, on March 13, 2004, this gallant warrior was the machine gunner in the lead Humvee of a column when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device; he took the brunt of the blast, sustaining injuries to his head, face, neck and shoulder and a broken jaw; and
   "Whereas, Nathan Lorin Morrow faced his injuries with courage and strength that have come to be expected from this exceptional young man."
   The resolution continues, "Major Don R. Avant, Commanding Officer of Lima Company, commented in a letter to the Morrows, 'I personally spoke to your son while he was in the ER, and he was in good spirits while being attended to by the medical staff. You'd be extremely proud of your son. When I touched his face and told him he was going home, he turned to me and replied, 'Sir, I don't want to go home!' The colonel beside me remarked, 'Where do we get such me?' Lance Corporal Morrow is an outstanding Marine, and I'm proud to serve with him. I pray for his safe return to your family."
   Lisa has seen her son since the attack but is still learning the extent of the injuries that he suffered. He was allowed briefly to return to Elizabethton to visit his family. He has since returned to Camp Pendleton where he is continuing to recover and receive treatment.
   The injuries were concentrated on his left side of his body. His vision is impaired in his left eye and he has been placed on the cornea transplant list. Some new treatments has given him the ability to see light and some colors from the left eye and he is regaining hearing in his left ear.
   Lisa was only recently informed that Nathan had to be placed on life support following the explosion. He is still waiting on facial plastic surgery which will be completed at a later date. "He is doing really good and is just biding his time in California," his mother said.
   Nathan will be awarded a purple heart when his unit returns from Iraq. Recent estimates show the 3-24th regiment returning in around November. Nathan has chosen to have the purple heart presented to him in his home town of Elizabethton.