For Immediate Release April 14, 2014
MELBOURNE, FL—The Melbourne Regional Chamber Veterans Resource Committee will pay tribute to home-town hero Melvin Morris at its upcoming Honor Dinner on April 19 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place. The event is being held in conjunction with Piper - Gardner American Legion Post 191, of which he is a member.
Mr. Morris of Port St. John, Florida is a recent recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor – the country’s highest military honor – awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. More than four decades ago, Morris received the Distinguished Service Cross (the Army’s second-highest commendation) for courageous actions on September 17, 1969, while a staff sergeant during combat operations in South Vietnam.
After a congressionally mandated review to ensure that eligible recipients were not bypassed due to prejudice, President Barack Obama awarded the Florida resident, now 72, and 23 others, the Medal of Honor at a special White House ceremony on Tuesday, March 18. Of the 24 recipients, Morris is among only 3 still living.
Sergeant First Class (SFC) Melvin Morris, born January 7, 1942, is the fourth of seven siblings to Johnnie and Madeline Morris, of Okmulgee, Oklahoma. He is currently retired from the United States Army, after an illustrious military career.
SFC Morris (Ret.) entered the Army in April 1959 at the age of 17. He was one of the first soldiers selected to receive the Green Beret for the Special Forces. That ceremony was personally witnessed by then - President Kennedy. Throughout his career he has filled numerous supervisory roles, including First Sergeant, Drill Sergeant, Operations Sergeant, Engineering and Platoon Sergeant.
His assignments included overseas and stateside locations, such as Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, Ft. Hood, Texas, Germany, Panama, Vietnam (on two different tours totaling 22 months), and the Dominican Republic.
Among Morris’s Army training certificates are Special Operations Tactical, Sniper School, Engineering School, Advanced Infantry Training Artillery, Airborne Basic Training and Jump Master School. He has also completed the Air Force Logistical School.
In addition to the country’s highest military honor, Mr. Morris has received the Bronze Star (oak leaf cluster), The Air Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal (V-device with 2 oak leaf clusters) and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, with Bronze Star.
During his spare time, he enjoys working on small boat engines and fishing, gardening, working to keep the family together, and attends the First Baptist Church of Port St. John, Florida.
The Chamber’s Honor Dinner event is $35 for active duty, retired and veterans with ID card or DD214 and $40 for all others. R.S.V.P. online under the events tab Melbourne Regional Chamber.
The event will feature numerous ceremonial presentations recognizing Mr. Morris, including a flag presentation from Congressmen Posey’s office and color guard flag ceremony with all branches of service represented.
For more information, email Justin Anderson
or Call Justin at (321) 724-5400 x233