FORT SILL, Okla. (TNN) - Wednesday, a Medal of Honor recipient was at Fort Sill to speak with soldiers at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Retired Sergeant First Class Melvin Morris led an advance across enemy lines to retrieve a fallen comrade and single handily destroyed an enemy force that, from a series of bunkers, had pinned down his battalion. Shot three times as he ran back toward friendly lines with the American casualties, Sgt. Morris did not stop until he reached safety.
Morris was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2014 after a prestigious military career. Wednesday, he spoke with soldiers on post 60 years after he first came to Fort Sill.
“I attended artillery training at Fort Sill in 1961 so it’s the first time I’ve been back. I thought it’s an opportunity to go back and give back and give something,” Morris said.
In his speech, Morris talked about suicide rates in the military and what must be done to prevent it.
“I know suicide is real and I know post-traumatic stress is real. I know that emotional stress is real. It concerns me that we have such a high rate of suicide. The only way we can address it is we’ve got to talk about it, put it out there and act on it,” Morris said.
Morris also spoke about the importance of minorities in the military striving to take their careers as far as they possibly can.
“We’ve come a long way. This is our country also. It’s time for us to stop being a minority, step up to the plate. Become a Green Beret, become a Ranger, become a Navy Seal. Become anything you want to be. There’s nothing stopping you and I’d just like to see more,” Morris said.
Fort Sill Senior Chaplain Colonel Robert Glazener said that message perfectly aligns with the event Morris was speaking at today, the annual National Prayer Breakfast.
“People from different races, traditions, religions, coming together to pray that we have a safe nation and a prosperous nation,” Glazener said.
Morris also said it’s very important to him that military members speak to kids in the community and that is something he would like to see more of going forward.