Phony Navy SEAL of the Week... Robert Eugene Morgan. The Friendly Fire Libya Leg Looser Classified Navy SEAL.
Born: Wheatridge, Colo.
Service: Navy, 6 years
Duties: Navy SEAL
Rank: Petty officer 2nd class
Recognitions: Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Navy Expeditionary Medal (two times); Meritorious Unit Commendation (six times); Navy Unit Commendation (five times); Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal
Duty stations: Middle East, Israel, Libya, San Diego, Calif., North Carolina
His story: Bob Morgan lost a leg after an injury sustained during a covert Navy SEAL operation in Libya, but he never earned a Purple Heart Medal for his loss.
He wasn’t awarded the medal because the United States was not at war with Libya, even though the injury eventually led to the loss of his leg after 19 surgeries over the next three years.
“That’s when they said no more,” he said. “My only regret after they put me out is why I didn’t do it sooner.”
He wanted to stay in the Navy until he learned his leg had to be amputated above the knee.
Morgan said he initially intended to enlist in the Marine Corps, following his father who served during the Korean War. His father told him no.
Morgan returned to the recruiter’s office the following day, but he was late to work. A Navy recruiter took advantage of the situation and offered Morgan a cup of coffee. The deal to enlist in the Navy was sealed before the Marine Corps recruiter showed up to the office.
Morgan said he planned to train in small arms until he was offered an opportunity to become a SEAL. The training included learning to scuba dive, parachute from aircraft, combat and survival training and more.
“We never stopped training,” he said. “I thought it was cool. I was an adrenaline junkie.”
He also learned his breaking point because the training is designed to see how far a SEAL can be pushed.
“The training tests you,” he said.
Morgan said many of the missions, which lasted as long as eight months, were classified. He still can’t discuss where he went or what he did. There were times he said he lived in a tent or buried in the sand.
“There weren’t a lot of home comforts,” he said. “We ate a lot of sea rations and MREs. When you’re hungry enough, you’ll eat anything.”
Morgan’s injuries in Libya included shrapnel wounds, a broken hip, leg and ankle shattered so bad his foot was backwards.
“I had my moments when I didn’t think I was coming back,” he said. “I thought I was done. I thought it was over.”
Morgan said he still has nightmares about some of his missions, but he has no regrets about serving his country.
“I’d do it all over again,” he said. “The good Lord, he’s got his plans for you. There’s a reason why I wake up every morning.”Our Veterans runs Wednesdays. Contact Gordon Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 912-464-7655 to suggest a veteran for a column.