Navy sailor home on leave from the Persian Gulf

Thursday, November 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

While more service men and women prepare for possible battle, one Oklahoma Naval officer is home. News on Six reporter Tami Marler has more on his happy homecoming.

“Come here, here's Daddy." Batman and his little sister Tinkerbell are flying toward their hero. Daddy’s home after more than four months at sea. Lt James Morfitt, "I missed you too. It's good to be home." Little Tristan couldn't even walk yet when James Morfitt left to serve on the USS Ingraham in the Persian Gulf. "Who is this? Who is this? [laughs]." "And the little guy doesn't recognize me, so, you get used to that though." Morfitt's wife, Leslie, "She didn't know him when we moved to Italy, and now look - so it won't take him any time until this one knows and loves him too."

Mauryn and daddy are fast friends now. They even share a secret. Mauryn, "Daddy plays with my dollies." Leslie, "Daddy plays with her dollies with her." As hard as it was for the Morfitt kids to be away from their daddy, it was even harder on Leslie. "If he knew what was going on here, I mean the moment that the attacks happened, you know I shot off an e-mail to him, and I was like 'do you know what's going on here in America?'" James, "We were thinking that uh, actually we were safer over there than you guys were here at home.” Now they're all home safe, with a little time to enjoy daddy's attention. "Daddy look, ahhh two teeth, where'd it go?" Jake lost his teeth and Tristan learned to walk.

So many changes in such a short time. But one thing remains constant. Lt. James Morfitt is still a hero. Leslie, "I'm so proud of what he does; I'm so proud of not only him, but every single service person that's over there right now. And he's home." Lieutenant Morfitt's ship was one of the first to fire tomahawk missiles on Afghanistan.

He's taking his scheduled two-year leave, plenty of time to get to know his family again. His ship remains in the Persian Gulf.