A Boise soldier died March 30 when a gunman opened fire on an Army patrol in Baghdad, Iraq, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
Graveside services for Sgt. Kelly S. Morris, 24, will be Monday at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.
Morris joined the Army in April 2001 and arrived at Fort Stewart, Ga., in October of that year, serving with the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.
Central Command at Fort MacDill Air Force Base in Florida said an Iraqi man shot at soldiers patrolling in east Baghdad on March 30. The man fled into the crowd; soldiers searched a house in the area and detained five suspected terrorists, the Central Command said.
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Morris was born in Boise, and raised in Boise from the age of 7 by Bill and Lisa Lowery. He attended Boise High School and graduated from Mountain Cove High School.
In a statement, Lisa Lowery said Morris "will always have a special place in our hearts."
"This is obviously a very difficult time for our family and for all who knew and loved Kelly. There was something definitely special about him. When you met Kelly, you knew you were meeting somebody who was going to affect your life in a positive way. He would have liked everybody to celebrate his life and not mourn his death, and would want us to be very strong at this difficult hour. "
The Lowery family said it would not comment further and asked reporters not to contact the family. The Idaho National Guard is providing casualty assistance to Sgt. Morris' family in Boise.
Morris was a quiet, mature student who wanted to be a soldier, said Frank Hanson, a teacher at Mountain Cove High School.
"He was an older student. His goal was to graduate high school and go into the Army, " Hanson said. "When he was a student here, he clearly had that goal in mind."
Morris must have been successful in his career, Hanson said, since he'd risen to the rank of sergeant at the time of his death. But Hanson said Morris' death came as a shock.
"When I saw the news article and I saw the age, I said, 'Oh my God, that's Kelly, ' " Hanson said. "My initial reaction was sadness. I didn't know Kelly was in Iraq. It made me think of some other students in Iraq serving their country."
U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo also expressed condolences to Morris' family.
"There are no words to offer comfort, but I do hope the Morris and Lowery families will know that a grateful nation appreciates Kelly's service to our country and will long remember his ultimate sacrifice, " Crapo said.
Services on Monday for Kelly Morris
Graveside services for Sgt. Kelly S. Morris are scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.
A viewing is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Aclesa Funeral Chapel.