MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C.-- -- 1st Lt. Jonathan D. Morris started his Marine Corps career approximately two years ago and got straight to business. The native of Temecula, Calif. serves as a platoon commander with the 2nd Amphibious Assault Battalion, 2nd Marine Division and participated in the battle for Falljuah in Iraq less than a year ago, where he was injured and subsequently received a Purple Heart.
During an assault on the city, Morris and his platoon encountered insurgents shooting out the windows of a building. The Marines cleared the building with a MK-19 rapid-fire grenade launcher prior to sending teams inside to clear out the rooms.
“The bottom line is we had two Am tracks and infantry all around on terraces and rooftops and on the ground. They were so close I was nervous about the infantry being hit,” said the 24 year-old Marine officer, “Shrapnel was coming down everywhere.”
“The next thing I know, I had a little piece of shrapnel that hit me in the left forearm,” said Morris, “it was almost like a little piece of wire. It was either from the building or the ammunition or something, but it was in all the shrapnel flying around the building.”
The firefight died down and started up again shortly after.
“About 30 minutes later, I realized it was pretty bad, and I pulled the sleeve up and saw blood.”
Morris initially thought the wound was superficial and declined to be medically evacuated away from the fight and his Marines. Three days later, he went in for another assessment and found the shrapnel he took had cut into an artery in his forearm. The potential seriousness of his condition rendered surgery at Camp Fallujah to remove the foreign object from his flesh.
Morris now bears a scar on his forearm as a telltale sign of his contribution to the War on Terrorism. He carried his enthusiasm for the efforts of all Marines to Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he is currently stationed after recovering from his operation.
“I’ll put it this way: I joined to go to combat and to go to war and all that,” said Morris, “Fallujah was one of the biggest battles of the war and I was glad to be there.”
Morris has retuned to his unit in a full-duty status.