Craig Day, News On 6
PAYNE COUNTY -- Another Oklahoma soldier has died in Afghanistan. Specialist Jordan Morris, 23, is the fifth Oklahoman to die in combat in Afghanistan in the past few weeks.
Even at an early age, people who knew him say Morris showed tremendous leadership. He's being remembered as an all around, great, likeable young man.
"Your heart aches for the family, for them having such a devastating loss, and such a devastating loss to our community," his baseball coach, Donnie Hoffman, said.
It wasn't long ago Jordan Morris walked the halls at Ripley High School. He was Valedictorian of his 2006 graduating class, an excellent student, active in just about everything, and a member of the baseball team.
"He was certainly one of those that could be easily identified as one of those good kids," Kenny Beams, Ripley Superintendent, said.
Those who knew him say it was the positive way he treated others, his love of his family and other qualities that made him so special.
"Just wanted to make everybody smile and have a good day." Beams,
Morris, who attended West Point, was one of five soldiers killed when a bomb went off near their vehicle in Afghanistan last Thursday.
Baseball coach Donnie Hoffman had known him since Morris was in grade school.
"The world is not as good a place, when you lose people with the character that he was," Hoffman said.
In a small town where everybody knows everybody, and where everyone knew what kind of person and patriot Morris was, it's hard losing him and will be difficult saying goodbye to someone who made his community and the world a better place.
"The legacy he leaves behind was the way he led his life, the character, the discipline, the dedication, the honor," Hoffman said.
"I think that's what I'll remember about him most, he had an infectious smile," Beams added.
Morris' family is still deciding whether he'll be buried at Arlington National Cemetery or back here at home in Oklahoma.