|CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq, June 26, 2006 — Next time Sgt. Aaron C. Morgan marches in a parade with the 1st Marine Division Band, expect his uniform to look just a little different.
Morgan, a bandsman assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5, was awarded the Purple Heart Medal June 24. The percussionist from the 1st Marine Division Band was wounded while performing security operations for an explosive ordnance disposal team April 17.
Morgan was the turret gunner in the lead vehicle of his convoy running down one of the more traveled roads in the area. It was late at night, the sky split with lightning.
“We just completed our job and were returning to Camp Smitty,” said Morgan, a 25-year-old from Baird, Texas. “I saw a bright flash and heard an extremely loud noise. I was covered in dirt and rocks.”
The next few actions occurred all in moments, Morgan explained. He dropped into his turret and bounced back up to his gun to search for a possible triggerman. He felt something wet on his cheek and it tasted coppery. It was his blood.
“My first thought was I just wanted to see my wife,” Morgan said. He collected himself, assessed there was no major damage and everyone else was good. The convoy pressed on.
“You’re worried about the gunners,” said Cpl Guy N. Griffin, a 19-year-old from Ruidoso, N.M., who was a couple of vehicles back from Morgan that night. “They radioed back and said everyone was good. When we got back, I could see Sgt. Morgan was a little banged up in the face.”