FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The 5th Engineer Battalion hosted a memorial Sept. 14 at Soldier’s Memorial Chapel, where battle buddies, friends and family of Spc. Joshua Morrison came together to share stories and honor his legacy.
Morrison, a bridge crewmember from the 5th Engineer Battalion’s 50th Multi-Role Bridge Company, was found deceased Aug. 19 by Missouri State Highway Patrol marine troopers, after he went missing Aug. 15, in the vicinity of Ruby’s Landing during a kayaking trip on the Gasconade River in Pulaski County near Waynesville.
Speaking at the ceremony, Lt. Col. Stewart Bailey, 5th Engineer Battalion commander, said over the past month he has gained a greater understanding of the “Soldier, brother, nephew and friend” that Morrison was.
“Specialist Morrison valued and treasured his relationships,” Bailey said. “He invested time, humor and feedback, making lasting impressions — forever changing his friends, teammates and associates. I was enlightened by the testimonies of compassion, dedication and kindness that Specialist Morrison displayed for his teammates at the 50th MRBC. No matter the hour, you could call upon him for help.”
Morrison’s commander at the 50th MRBC, Capt. Cole Andrekus, said upon arriving here he “noticed immediately that Morrison was a Soldier whose performance was above and beyond.”
“He displayed the keen level of intellect and hard work that’s required of a 12 Charlie, and the strong friendships that he made with other Soldiers proved to me that he was an active and valuable team player,” Andrekus said.
Many of Morrison’s friends and family attended the memorial — some coming from as far away as Texas, Georgia and New Jersey.
Sgt. Dayvon White is a bridge crewmember now assigned to the 74th MRBC at Fort Hood, Texas, but met Morrison when they were stationed together here. White said he’ll remember Morrison for the “funny, hard-headed person he was.”
“He just liked making people laugh,” White said. “He had a bunch of friends — people who knew him. Losing him is affecting a lot of people. He touched a lot of people.”
Jonathan Burgos is an Army veteran who came all the way from New Jersey to attend the memorial. He knew Morrison for two years while they were both stationed here.
“He was my best friend,” Burgos said. “I was with him every day. We lived right across the street from each other. He was funny — very entertaining — and he loved to cook. He made sure everyone ate. He was loveable, just very enjoyable to be around. I miss him.”