Receiving of Friends For Fallen Clinton Soldier

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The Clinton soldier killed by an explosive device in Iraq will be laid to rest Sunday at the Oak Ridge Memorial Park, but Saturday, loved ones saw Staff Sergeant Daniel Morris for the last time during the receiving of friends.

"It's a small town. It's the first one we've had out of this Iraq war that's been killed in Clinton," middle school teacher Doodles Mayes said.

The flag is flown at half staff at the Holley-Gamble funeral home as hundreds of Clinton community members pay their respects to 28-year-old Army Staff Sergeant Daniel Morris.

"He now has proven his love to this country, and it's an ultimate sacrifice," Mayes said.

Doodles Mayes was Morris' 7th and 8th grade teacher at Clinton Middle School.

"I can remember him being good in class. I can remember him not being in trouble. Just a good all around kid," Mayes said.

A good kid who grew up to be a respected military man.

"He was fun, he was lively, a man's man. He's one of the greatest men I've ever met in my life," friend Rev. Matthew Reed said.

Reverend Matthew Reed lived in the service men's home with Morris in Texas where he says Morris faithfully attended church.

"He was like a shadow. Everywhere I went he was right there with me, wanted to be. So I'll miss everything about him," Reed said.

Reed says Morris told his mother exactly why he was going to Iraq just before he left.

"That he loved God and that he loved his country and if he died, he'd die doing what he wanted to do," Reed said.

Morris wrote a letter to his mother, telling him how much he loved her, November 12th, just 13 days before he was killed.

"He was fighting for the Iraqis' freedom, and that's the way he was looking at it. He was trying to help those people out," father Glenn Morris said.

Morris' father, Glenn, says he'll stay strong for his son.

"There's an emptiness I'm sure that's always going to be there," Morris said.

As he says goodbye through the open casket.

"Gotta go in, kiss him one more time, tell him goodnight," Morris said.