Clinton Soldier Killed in Iraq

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Clinton, Anderson County (WVLT) - Daniel Morris' father, Glenn, says his son had a soft place in his heart for the Iraqi people, that's why he volunteered for a second tour in the war-torn county.

Saturday, that tour ended tragically when an improvised explosive device detonated near Army Staff Sergeant Daniel Morris' Humvee northeast of Baghdad.

To Glenn Morris, Staff Sergeant Daniel Morris is more than a son, he's an American hero. While he tried to talk his son out of joining the military, it was something he wanted to do.

The City of Clinton is mourning the loss of one of it's own with flags to fly half staff until the body of Staff Sergeant Daniel Morris gets home.

"Daniel was stationed in Texas and that was the proper place because you know that's the only state in the union to hold all the heart that he had."

Daniel's father Glenn says his son always had a passion for the military.

"He always like to play with GI Joes and as he grew up he got into paint balls."

Despite his efforts to talk him out of it, Daniel enlisted and escaped a close call in his first tour of duty in Iraq.

"IED that was in the ground and his footprint was that far away from where it would have detonated."

Glenn knows his son is a hero, a brave one at that.

"I can only aspire to be half the man that he was."

But despite his close call, Morris re-enlisted knowing he was going back.

"He kinda had a soft spot in his heart for the Iraqis."

Glenn says his son never got a chance to realize his second dream to be a pastor...a dream he noticed while shopping with him one day.

"probably in there about 45 minutes, 30 minutes of that was him talking to different people in the store trying to get them to go to church."

Despite his loss, Glenn feels the focus must be to win in Iraq.

"If we don't then not only my son but every other son and daughter that's over there that's passed away has died in vain."

Morris now leaves behind a ten year old daughter, Alexys Morris. Glenn Morris says a fund has been set up for his granddaughter at the ORNL Federal Credit Union.

Family will receive friends on Saturday from 6-8 at the Holly Gambel Funeral Home in Clinton with a chapel service immediately following.

Burial will be held Sunday at Oak Ridge Memorial Park at 2 pm.