The devastating headlines from Iraq turned into a reality for a Brownfield family Wednesday. 34 Sgt. Steven Morin, Jr. was one of 15 U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq this week when insurgents attacked his convoy. Morin's military career started 16 years ago. He volunteered to fight in the first war in Iraq, but he wasn't deployed to Iraq until last January.
Steven was a hard working father, son, husband, and hero. Steve's mother, Audrey Morin said, "only the good die young," which is true of her son.
Audrey said, "he did us proud. He's a very nice man, or he was."
She now uses past tense, but his memories will always be present.
"Anytime he'd call, he'd say 'how's my beautiful mama,'" Audrey remembered. "And of course, he's my son so he'd have to say that, I always liked that about him that he was very caring and loving."
Morin's father, Steve Senior remembers his son as fun loving. He's even having fun in pictures he sent home from Iraq.
Steve said, "I'm very grateful to the Lord that he let me share my son's life and get to know him. He was everything I wasn't. I was never educated."
Morin, Jr. graduated from Brownfield High School, where he excelled in baseball and football. He was accepted into the Naval Academy after high school. He then got married and had a son. Morin later graduated from Texas Tech where he received a prestigious academic award.
Morin's son, Steven the third, idolized him.
Audrey remembered, "he'd say he's fighting the bad guys. He's fighting bad guys, but he's not going to die."
However, the news of Morin's death came Wednesday night.
"'Audrey just started fixing supper when they showed up," Steve said holding back tears.
Audrey recalled the same moment, "I saw the uniform and saw the blue envelope so I thought to myself, he's going to give me an award, my son must've done something heroic."
Steve, however, knew the news was bad.
"I just didn't know how bad," said Steve. "Then when they said they needed to talk to me and my wife, my heart sank."
Steve remembers a friend, Audrey remembers her happy baby boy, and they both remember a hero who wanted to defend his country.
Audrey said, "he was happy with what he was doing. It just happened he didn't come home, but we're very proud of him and we'll always think of him."
Funeral services will be held in Brownfield for Morin later next week.