1LT Nicholas Morris
As a junior in high school, Nicholas Morris watched the terror of September 11, 2001 unfold on TV during history class. Almost ten years later in Afghanistan, he would witness the brutality and horror of the ensuing conflict firsthand while serving as a rifle platoon leader with the US Army.
On June 7, 2011, while on a resupply mission with 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, in Laghman Province, Afghanistan, the vehicle carrying 1LT Nicholas Morris and several others struck a pressure plate improvised explosive device (IED). The explosion occurred directly under 1LT Morris’ seat, injuring four of his Soldiers and killing the interpreter riding with them.
Nick was the most critically injured, requiring an emergency tracheotomy in the field and several units of blood. Additionally, he sustained damage to both legs, severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), and a broken back and jaw. Transported to Jalalabad for stabilization, Nick was then evacuated to Landstuhl and eventually brought stateside to Walter Reed, where he underwent over 30 surgeries in three months. Doctors eventually amputated his right leg after months of limb salvage efforts. He currently wears a brace on his left leg, which he and doctors may elect to amputate if pain and difficulty with this limb persist.
Now medically retired, Nick lives in Colorado with his wife Caroline, whom he met while attending the University of South Carolina. With the prospect of a new mortgage-free home from Homes For Our Troops, Nick says he will now be able to focus on starting a family. He looks forward to being a stay-at-home dad in a great neighborhood and allowing Caroline to pursue a career, which she sacrificed and put on hold while Nick was recovering from surgeries and between hospital stays. The financial freedom of living without a mortgage, he says, will also help mitigate the stress he experiences. Additionally, Nick says he will have a sense of control and security knowing he and Caroline will have a home to call their own. Nick will be able to rest in his wheelchair after wearing his prosthetic and brace all day, alleviating his chronic back pain as well.
Nick enjoys hiking, golfing, gardening and working out. He and Caroline want to thank HFOT and its supporters for giving them a second chance at life and the opportunity to settle down and establish permanent roots. “It’s because of people who support HFOT that Soldiers are able to rebuild their lives and finally move on from the tragedy and horror they have faced,” he says. “This is the most wonderful gift a wounded Veteran can receive.”