Jefferson County, IL 
WWII
Military Honor Medals

 
 

Mount Vernon Register News
January 27-28, 2007
Submitted By: Kiowana Hayes Ferguson


Posthumous World War II medals 
presented to daughter, nephew

Mount Vernon - Robert Morgan didn't talk much about World
War II but now his family will have a tangible reminder of
his service.

Morgan's daughter, Barbara Reynolds, and his nephew, Jay Lewis,
accepted several military honor medals Friday from U.S. Rep.
John Shimkus at the Mt. Vernon City Hall. The family had been
trying to get the awards issued since May of last year.

Morgan, who died of a heart attack in 1968 at the age of 53, was
awarded posthumously the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Good
Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle
Eastern Campaign Medal with one Bronze Service Star and one Bronze
Arrowhead, a World War II Victory Medal, Honorable Service
Lapel Button for World War II, Expert Badge with Rifle Bar and
a Combat Infantry Badge.

"I feel closer to my dad that way," Reynolds said. "He was a 
wonderful person."

Lewis said Morgan was his "favorite uncle," and growing up, he
remembers asking him what happened to his abdomen. Morgan, who
was critically injured during the war had to have skin graphs
taken from his abdomen and thigh to fix the wounds on his lower
leg.

But Lewis said his uncle would reply that was "where I used to
place my gun."

"That's all he would talk about it," Lewis said.

The family would later find out that Morgan had spent more than
two and a half years in the hospital because of that injury,
which forced him to walk with a can and a limp the rest of his
life.

Of why her father never spoke of his service days in the U.S.
Army, Reynolds said she believes he had his mind on other 
aspects of life.

"He just felt that other things were more important," she said.

Lewis, a veteran who served during the Vietnam War, said he
really looked up to Morgan.

"He was the strongest person I have ever known," Lewis said.

Lewis also said he and Reynolds both wanted to obtain Morgan's
medals because they wanted the chance to preserve his memory.

"We just decided as a family that we needed this to honor him,"
he said. "And also for our own selfishness."

Shimkus said people like Morgan who serve the nation pave the 
way for future generations to follow in thier footsteps.

"We are blessed to continue to foster this tradition today." 
Shimkus said.

 
 
 
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