Special to American Forces Press Service
Jan. 7, 2008 - When two brothers stationed in Iraq couldn't be home with their families for the holidays, linking up with each other during the season was the next best thing. Coordinating schedules and moving around Iraq isn't easy, but the Morgan brothers from Union City, Tenn., managed to pull it off and staged a two-man family reunion at this base in Iraq's Wassit province.
Clay and Brad Morgan share many similarities. They are U.S. Army engineer officers, graduates of the U.S. Military Academy, and married with sons. During their time together over the holidays, they called home, played desert golf, visited reconstruction projects, and generally just hung out.
Desert golf? "We pulled out a 3-wood, a bag of golf balls and a scrap of Astroturf to drive some shots around our camp for distance and accuracy," Clay explained.
Maj. Clay Morgan, 33, graduated from West Point in 1997. He's the resident officer at the Wassit Resident Office of the Gulf Region South District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Capt. Brad Morgan, 29, graduated from West Point in 2000. He's an Army engineer officer serving as the Military Transition Team Leader for a 500-man Iraqi reconnaissance battalion in the 9th Iraqi Armored Division.
Clay leads a USACE team of engineers, including a number of Iraqis, responsible for executing various infrastructure projects throughout the province valued at nearly $25 million. He's responsible for the development, planning and execution of reconstruction projects being done for the Iraqi people. He has been in Iraq since July.
Brad is responsible for training and developing his unit's leadership from squad leader to battalion commander and serves as the combat advisor during joint missions with coalition forces. The unit's mission is to conduct surveillance and security operations in the area north of Baghdad. Brad has been in Iraq since April.
Brad was able to travel here from Forward Operating Base Taji to share the holidays with his brother.
Their parents, Joe and Nelda Morgan, still reside in Union City, Tenn.
Clay's wife, Brigitte, and son Jacob, 6, are at Fort Belvoir, Va. Brad's wife, Becky, and 5-month old son, Aiden, are at Fort Campbell, Ky. Aiden was born during his dad's deployment. "Luckily, Brad was home on leave for the birth," brother Clay related.
"It is our honor and privilege to serve our nation as Army engineer officers," the brothers said. "We feel very fortunate and grateful to have gotten the chance to share time and bring in the New Year together far from home."
(John Connor is a public affairs officer with the Gulf Region South District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in Iraq.)