Chivers, this is the story of Taylor Morris (22 Photos)

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This is the story of Taylor Morris, a 23 year-old Navy EOD tech:

Taylor Morris learned at an early age he was hooked on the outdoors, adventurous, the middle of 4 children and always the last one inside for dinner at his home in Cedar Falls, Iowa. His mother Juli recalled, "Our family took a camping trip from Niagra Falls down the East Coast one summer. Taylor set up the tents every night, started the fires, cooked the meals. Taylor was only 8 years old." As Taylor grew older and took to extreme water sports and rock climbing, Taylor discovered he was also very calm under extreme pressure. This quality would later make him the perfect candidate for the Navy's EOD, Explosive Ordinance Disposal.

Explosive ordinance disposal specialists were made famous in Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker. They are the preeminent tactical and technical explosives experts. Nicknamed 'The Shield', OED specialists always lead, the first to put themselves in harm's way to tackle unexploded ordinance and IED's.

Less than one month ago near the Kandahar province in Afghanistan, Taylor was doing his job, right out in front.

Leading a team of Army Special forces to a classified location, Taylor stepped on an IED. It exploded underneath him and blew off all four of his limbs. Taylor recalled the moment to me over the phone,

"As soon as I stepped on it, I knew. There was a moment, then I heard the blast. I felt the heat. I knew I had lost my legs. As I summersaulted through the air, I watched my legs fly off."

Taylor landed back in the blast crater. This is where the story of Taylor's bravery goes next-level.

After the explosion, Taylor didn't lose consciousness, he didn't go into shock. His thoughts immediately crystalized. Even though Taylor was bleeding to death, he called to the oncoming medics NOT to come get him, putting their safety in front of his own life.

"I recounted the moment of the explosion. There was no visual on the mine and no sound ID on my mine detector. That told me the mine was old. If there were other mines out there, the medics wouldn't see them or detect them unless it was cleared properly. I knew I had arterial bleeding from all 4 limbs and I was bleeding out fast. I told my buddies to stop, it would only have hurt me more if somebody stepped on another one."

The area around Taylor was finally cleared by the second EOD and the medic finally administered combat casualty care. Taylor remained conscious through the ordeal.

Three days later on May 6th Taylor landed back in the States and was transported to Walter Reed hospital in Washington D.C. to begin the long and painful rehab process. Upon his arrival, Taylor became only the 5th person at Walter Reed to ever survive a four limb amputation. His physical progression in the last three weeks has defied everybody's expectations, "My body is responding well. I'm already sitting up. I'm very fortunate." Just yesterday, the stitches in his arms were removed and he was fitted for prosthetics.

I asked Taylor if he's been given a time frame to return home to Iowa.

"Nobody really wants to give me a time frame, I understand that. The doctors here are amazing but I don't know when I'll go home. I've got goals though, personal goals, and I intend on achieving them."

As our conversation drew to an end I asked Taylor if he needed anything medically, "No, I'm fully covered by the Navy for my medical needs." I asked, "Ok, Taylor, if you could have anything in the world, what would it be?"

Taylor paused and finally spoke,

"I've always dreamed of having a log cabin in the woods on a lake. A traditional wood cabin on the outside with a modern interior. And good lighting. Good lighting is important. My girlfriend Danielle and I, we live simple lives but we've always loved being active, spending time outside with our families."

I asked Taylor's girlfriend Danielle about this dream cabin. She said, "Taylor and I are both savers, and we had been working our butts off to ensure we'd have a cabin, close to water to do water sports, and places we can hike. After what happened, we will not abandon that dream if it takes years of saving."

After I thanked Taylor for the zillionth time for his service, I hung up the phone and sat in silence recalling our conversation. I was so nervous when we first started chatting but somehow Taylor sets you at ease. He made it ok to ask hard questions about the explosion that nearly killed him and his painful rehab. I recalled something his mother had told me over the phone, "Taylor has a certain humility about his pain, it comforts you."

I knew I had just spoken to a hero, not the movie kind either, a real one. And I think he deserves a hero's homecoming. Taylor hesitated to tell me his own timeline to return home, that hope belongs to him alone, but I believe when he does return home at the end of this long journey, HOME should be to a place he's always dreamed about.

When Taylor returns, I want theCHIVERS to have provided the down payment on his dream cabin. We have the best community on the internet and I'm setting the goal at $30,000. But we all know about your endearing tradition of smashing goals. Let's help build Taylor his cabin, a place where he and his family can relax for generations to come.

Taylor's family has set up a website, TaylorMorris.org, to educate people about his life and his injuries. They've set up a donations page. Paypal and Credit Cards are accepted right here.

Even if you donate a dollar you're making a huge difference. There are millions of Chivers and if you give just a little, your dollar will go farther than you'll ever imagine in this moment right now.

UPDATE #1: I can't believe this but after 45 minutes, Taylor's story is going viral. The total raised already is $27,814.00. Unreal.

Update #2: 12:15 PM PST: $36,442. Goal exceeded! The family told me the donations appear to be coming in even faster right now.

Update #3: 12:35 PST: $48,170

Update #4: After crossing the $50,000 mark I spoke to Taylor, Danielle, and the Morris family. They are gathered around the computer in disbelief. Taylor said, "I had no expectations for this, John, I can't believe this is happening. Please thank all the Chivers for me from the bottom of my heart."

Update #5: $60,000

Update #6: $70,000

Update #7: 2:20 PST $80,000

Update #8: 3:20 PST $95,000. Let's do this, Chivers!

Super-Awesome Update: We just hit $100,000 in 4 hours and the donations show no sign of stopping.

Update #10: 5:30 PST $115,265 UPDATE #11 (5 minutes later): $120,000


Late Night Update
: I'll continue these updates first thing in the morning. Even late into the night the donations continue to surge. We've hit $143,000. You've exceeded the initial goal by over $100,000. Words escape me.

Update #11: 8:00 am PST $177,641

Update #12: 1:30 PST $196,000 - The final push to $200k

Update #13: $200,000!!!

Update #14:$210,000

Update #14. Saturday 10:00 am PST $230,000

$250,000!!!

Donate right here.

If you feel like mailing a check, a $5 bill, or even a letter of encouragement:

Sid and Alvira Morris
5026 Sage Rd
Cedar Falls, IA  50613

I’ll be bringing you updates every hour on the donation amounts as they come in so check back.

I know Taylor is reading this, theCHIVERS will be making a company donation of $1,000 as well as personal donations to get this started. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

Chivers, you know what to do.

UPDATE #1: $27,814.00 in less than 45 minutes. Chivers, this is amazing.

Update #2: 12:15 PM PST: $36,442 Goal exceeded! The family told me the donations appear to be coming in even faster right now.

Update #3: 12:35 PST: $48,170

Update #4: After crossing the $50,000 mark I spoke to Taylor, Danielle, and the Morris family. They are gathered around the computer in disbelief. Taylor said, “I had no expectations for this, John, I can’t believe this is happening. Please thank all the Chivers for me from the bottom of my heart.”

Update #5: 1:40 PST: $60,000

Update #6: 2:00 PST: $70,000

Update #7: 2:20 PST $80,000

Update #8: 3:20 PST $95,000. Let’s do this, Chivers!

Super-Awesome Update: We just hit $100,000 in 4 hours and the donations show no sign of stopping.

Update #10: 5:30 PST $115,265, UPDATE #11 (5 minutes later): $120,000


Late Night Update
: I’ll continue these updates first thing in the morning. Even late into the night the donations continue to surge. We’ve hit $143,000. You’ve exceeded the initial goal by over $100,000. Words escape me.

Update #11: 8:00 am PST $177,641

Update #12: 1:30 PST $196,000 – The final push to $200k

Update #13: $200,000!!!

Update #14:$210,000

Update #14. Saturday 10:00 am PST $230,000

$250,000!!!

`
  • Mike Boudreaux

    Update please………..

    Taylor is a HERO!!!! AMERICAN style!!!!

  • https://www.facebook.com/wim.helsen.3 Wim Helsen

    I don't think the Chive is going to place another update of the money they've raised because the amount will be so high (perhaps more than 300.000$ after the weekend) and people may start asking questions why Taylor Morris should receive so much money while at the same time there are many other people who suffer frome the same injuries as Taylor and they don't get anything.

    But don't get me wrong, I've support this case and I've even made a donnation to Tarlor. But in my opinion this fundraising action has gone way further than anyone has would ever hoped for, but now it's living it's own live (including world wide media coverage) and it's out off control

    • Julie

      By donating to Taylor you may very well be helping others. We don't know how much money he'll receive at the end of this, we don't know where it will go. Due to the attention and generosity, he and his family may very well re-gift and donate some of the money to others in need.

  • http://straffelycke.wordpress.com straffelycke

    Reblogged this on straffelycke and commented:
    Too good to not share.

  • Kevin

    This is why theChive Rocks. KCCO

  • http://www.amazingpeopleandheroes.com/2012/06/04/taylor-morris-navy-eod-tech-4-limbs-lost-in-ied-removal-a-must-read-then-go-donate-a-buck-or-5/ Taylor Morris Navy EOD tech, 4 limbs lost in IED removal. A MUST read then go donate a buck or 5! | My Blog
  • Randy Nester

    UPDATES???

  • Marty

    Update? Plz?

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  • Drew

    Hoping it's past $250k

  • Megan

    Amazing and touching story!! I teach many EOD students a year in the Navy, and it breaks my heart that any of them could face such a devastating injury. Stay strong Morris! Very Respectfully, AO1(AW/SW) McConahy

    To writer, John: Ordinance (i.e. legislation) and Ordnance (i.e. explosive, bomb, etc) are two very, very different things!

  • Concerned . . .

    Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but you do realize that the tax liability on these funds will be over 40 percent. Add to this the attention that this story is now drawing worldwide, and this family will be under intense pressure. This on top of what they are already dealing with in regards to Taylor's wounds. The family will now have to hire attorneys and tax professionals to work out the best arrangements possible. Hopefully, all this was thought of before the story was published. In our effort to help, I hope we didn't make things even worse.

    • Franklin

      Actually, they're all gifts since he's not a charity (same reason we wouldn't want to deduct our contributions on our tax returns). Gift tax is paid by the donor if the gift is over $13,000, not by the recipient.
      So, no tax liability for Taylor unless he would sell his cabin and profit more than $250,000. In which case he would be subject to capital gains tax on the profit over $250,000 ($500,000 married filing jointly) after his basis is deducted.
      No need to be Concerned…

      • Concerned . . .

        The donations would be taxed as income. Same as if he won a lottery, or restaurant tips. (not equating, just comparing) $250K income would put them in the top federal tax bracket. Don't know what Iowa's tax laws are. Maybe there is some way to get a medical or military exemption. They need a good accountant, and they better get an attorney or this can become a nightmare. I'm sure the IRS boys will be all over this one, now that it's a national story.

        • Franklin

          The top federal income tax bracket starts at $388,350 for 2012, not $250,000.

          Gambling (lottery) winnings require a wager and tips are earned income. Not the same as gifts.

          Gifts are not taxable to the recipient, however any interest earned if they are kept in an interest bearing savings account are (or other investment income like dividends or profitable stock sales).

          • Billy

            Fuck I just learned something today. Damn you Franklin………………………..

            • ispankninjas

              Franklin, can you do my taxes next year? KCCO!

  • Kelly Laine

    can we get an update at all? I promise to send more boob pics ASAP if we can just get an update:)

  • Chase Mayeux

    $5 donated man. God this choked me up. I'm so thankful for people like you in this world. KCCO

  • kpandorastar

    Why do people feel it necessary to say shit like "I find it sad that you're giving all this money to one guy when there are others in need…" Blah blah blah. I didn't donate $200,000 to one soldier. I donated 20 bucks. Know another one? Give me an address, I'll send him money too.

    If you "don't mean to be a killjoy" and don't mean to bring anyone down… then don't. A beautiful thing is happening here. Either pitch in and help, or sit back, shut up and let it happen.

    • Concerned . . .

      It's a great thing that's happened here, no doubt. However, I assume you would like your donations to go towards building a cabin for Taylor? How would it feel to find out that half the money went to taxes and they couldn't build the cabin. Also that their current income level disqualified them from receiving other benefits? Blame the Feds if you don't like the tax laws, but they are the laws. Someone needs to be watching these things. In two weeks, this story will have faded, and they will be left with the nightmare.

    • RUBIO

      RIGHT ON!

  • Pedro-STL

    This whole thread makes me proud to be part of this community! As a broke post-college student, nothing gives me greater joy than giving a few bucks to a cause like this (even $10 makes a difference). The generosity and good humor of people on this site prove that we as a culture can do anything and I am continually inspired to be a better person because of all of you! CHIVE ON you beautiful bastards!

  • micky

    Just got back from Mexico, sorry I was late to the party but I arrived. Glad to help out.

    May God bless you and your family.

  • Beth

    this is an amazing story! what a hero!

  • ReaganMarine

    Donated. Thanks Taylor and family for your service and sacrifice.

  • https://www.facebook.com/michelle.d.vallerie Michelle DeStefano Vallerie

    People, he needs all the money he can get. it will be ard for him to earn an income ever again. he needs to set up funds so he is taken care of the rest of his life. Buying his house is the first step and I am so proud of this community for changing this Hero's life. Prayers have been answered. This article makes me cry every time i read it.

  • http://www.monkeyhelpers.org Chuck

    Please forward this website to Taylor. My wife works for Helping Hands – Monkey helpers for the Disabled, and this is exactly the type of person the organization helps.
    http://www.monkeyhelpers.org/

  • https://www.facebook.com/e.r.werner Erin Dougherty Werner

    Amazing story….amazing cause. Werner family has happily contributed, and thankful to all our servicemen for their service and sacrifice. Chive on!

  • http://willpowerthru.com/2012/06/06/june-5th/ June 5th « willpowerthru

    […] random act of kindness today was to donate 10 bucks to this dude, he’s more of a badass than you thought your dad was when you were 7.  If I have a will […]

  • Grant

    Couldn't get it done a few days ago! Just got it done…..

    Mr. Morris – Thank you thank you thank you for my freedom. Thanks to you and all our other armed forces members from the US and all over the world that sacrifice so much for so many that they don't even know…….You are all an amazing breed!!

    Grant.

  • taterbob

    I don't even know what to say to this. This is amazing, and humbling. Taylor, thank you for your service and sacrifice.

  • Shawna Stryker

    Thank you Taylor, enjoy your home and live your life with a capital L!

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