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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!!!

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  • Zak

    He's not a hero, he's an idiot for joining the army. I can't believe all you people buy that that rubbish about sacrifice and service to your country. It's all lies.

    • http://mimi249.blogspot.com/ Rosemary Molloy

      Well, you put it a little crudely, Zak, but you're right.. Wars are invariably started and promoted by those who gain from them.. They know the general population will enthusiatically embrace the idea if they're just offered a few slogans: "Freedom isn't free," "defending our country," and the odious "if you can (insert activity), thank a soldier." When a tragedy like Taylor's strikes, they HAVE to believe it was for a noble cause rather than believe his "sacrifice" was in vain.

    • joe

      You are a piece of shit who should not be allowed to breath oxygen let alone live in this country. Please do us all a favor and walk into oncoming traffic.

    • Danny

      Educate yourself Zak. Learn about US history. If it wasn't for the brave you would not be living in this free country. Shame on you… you self serving jerk.

  • Marcus

    Men like you make me proud to be an American. Thanks for your service and inspiration

  • http://www.facebook.com/redmanchronic Red Hoffman

    You are such an inspiration. I know many people who complain about things that become trivial after reading your story. I wish this did not happen to you. Money will never replace your loss, but know this, you now have thousands of friends who would do anything within their power to help you in any manner you need. Thank you for your service and sacrifices.

  • Jody

    Mad Respect!! $100 ur way kind sir….

  • https://www.facebook.com/steve.bell176 Steve Bell

    champ

  • http://www.one-quest.com/blog/friday-five-patriotic-characters/ Friday Five: Patriotic Characters | One-Quest.com

    […] story of one true Patriot, Taylor Morris, that I encourage you to read. You can follow his story here, here, here, here, here, and here. Be forewarned though. It will make you misty. JohnScott is the […]

  • Spywith1eye

    Wow you sir have secured your name in American history! BTW warning your company not to save you so they wouldnt get hurt… Bro that says alot about your heart and soul! Thank you doesnt cover it but thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/thmurrin Thomas H. Murrin

    I heard about Tayler at the Ameristar Casino Buffet Resttaruant on the Missouri Riverand in Kansas City, and our waitress and I were talking about our relatives who were in Iraq and Afganistan. Taylor's name came up and Sunni (pronounced Sunny) , my waitress helped me understand the Chiver's and what a great group of people that they are and how quickly they came to answer the call to grant Taylor's simple desire to live in a house by a lake.

    I was grumbling about my simple problems until I found out about Taylor's ordeal…I have to problems next to his …and from now on I will not complain. And I am going to send in a dontation as well.
    Thank You Taylor for being such an inspiration to all of us.

  • John

    Having served myself…
    Thank you!

  • Steven Nixon

    I am unbelievably shocked by this amazing story. I'm not going to lie, I cried. I leave in 16 days for basic training for the U.S. Army and my MOS (job) is EOD. This story has opened my eyes and made me even more proud to serve our country and have the job I do. Taylor Morris you are a true hero and I hope I can be as brave as you. I hope you meet your goals and live a long happy life. Thank you for your service.

  • http://www.frapex.ro/2012/09/15/asa-arata-dragostea-adevarata-par-un-cuplu-ca-oricare-altul-dar-continuarea-acestei-fotografii-te-va-emotiona-pana-la-lacrimi/ ASA arata dragostea adevarata! Par un cuplu ca oricare altul, dar continuarea acestei fotografii te va emotiona pana la lacrimi: | Cele mai noi stiri ale momentului

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    […] past, present and future members of the military, I salute you and thank you for your service!!! Chivers, this is the story of Taylor Morris (22 Photos) : theCHIVE The beatings will continue until morale improves. Reply With Quote […]

  • Tony

    taylor is one of the bravest people ive ever read about
    take care of him danielle and stick by him. he deserves it.

  • http://mimi249.blogspot.com/ Rosemary Molloy

    Is anybody asking who benefits from this horror? And all the other horrors–the ones inflicted on this beautiful young man and the ones we inflict on people in other countries, children included, of course. And who benefits from the carnage? Well, let's see: the munitions manufacturers, of course; the politicians, who vomit out their lies around the clock; the mainstream media, who act as whores for the politicians; the contractors who support the slaughter; the generals promoting their careers…. As for the military members who do their bidding, they benefit too, as Taylor Morris is doing. Lucky him, he gets free medical care for the rest of his life.
    When are comatose Americans going to start asking WHY?

  • http://dailymilk.com/2012/09/17/soldier-loses-four-limbs-taylor-morris-incredible-recovery/ Amazing : Soldier Loses Four Limbs {Taylor Morris’ Incredible Recovery} | DailyMilk

    […] following images are from his close friend, Tim Dodd, buzzfeed, and The Chive.  Taylor also has his own website that you might want to check out after looking at the pictures […]

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    […] and Kelly were first put into the spotlight in May when the Chive posted a story about the couple with a series of moving photos that Dodd had taken. (Those photos recently went […]

  • https://www.facebook.com/deplaya Raúl Guzmán

    Looks like efficient army propaganda. Boys, please stay at home and not invade other countries.

  • http://www.taylormorris.org/and-were-viral/ And We’re Viral. « TAYLOR MORRIS

    […] these awesome/crazy/quick pace viral situations we get put into (for instance, we had no idea about TheChive.com until they made a post about Taylor that ended up raising him over $250,000 in 30 hours not too […]

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    […] walking. And swimming. And cooking.  After only a few months. Amazing. He’s a true hero. TheChive (a website I knew nothing about before this) did a story on him back in May (a few weeks after it […]

  • http://www.facebook.com/lori.dl.b Lori Lackey Baker

    absolutely amazing!!
    thank you thank you thank you for your service
    i can never repay you-all i can do is thank you
    God bless you both!!

  • http://lostwithkristin.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/larger-than-the-moon-my-love-for-you-worlds-collide-as-heaven-pulls-us-through-the-secret-of-the-world-is-written-in-the-stars-im-carrying-your-heart-in …Larger than the moon, my love for you. Worlds collide as heaven pulls us through. The secret of the world is written in the stars. I’m carrying your heart in mine… | Lost With Kristin

    […] and Kelly were first put into the spotlight in May when the Chive posted a story about the couple with a series of moving photos that Dodd had taken. (Those photos recently went […]

  • GOUSA

    If it wasn't for courageous and patriotic men and women like this what kind of country do you think you would live in. Shame on you Rosemary Malloy.

  • Sherriel

    God Bless and THANK YOU both Taylor and Danielle, such an inspiration – words don't seem enough. I hope this time next year you are sitting on the porch or deck of your cabin enjoying love, life and being together.

  • HM3 Shirey

    I was sitting at radiology one day waiting for my appointment one day and I heard someone running accompanied by a loud whizzing sound, I looked up and saw Taylor and Danielle, Taylor was charging full speed in his hair decked in PT gear, and Running at his side, also in PT gear. My heart exploded with joy seeing this. No greater is a love than for a man to lay down his life for another, and the love of a woman at his side, unconditionally, semper fi brother! -HM3 Shirey

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