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Friday, Jan 25 2013 12:03 AM

Hometown Hero: Evan Morgan, U.S. Marine Corps

Compiled by Jeneal Wood

U.S. Marine Evan Morgan was on his second tour of duty in Iraq in 2005 when the Humvee he was riding in was struck by a roadside bomb. He lost both legs in the explosion.

Since returning to Bakersfield, he has exemplified the community's generosity, unity and support for its veterans who have suffered life-altering injuries.

Related Photos

Wounded veteran Evan Morgan plays at the Salute To Our Local Heroes event in 2011.

Evan Morgan

Age: 29

Former assignment: 0352 Anti-tank Assaultman (shot at tanks with TOW missiles).

I served in the military for: Four years, the last one in hospitals and rehabilitation.

Why I decided to join: I was inspired by my older brother who joined the Marine Corps when I was 8 years old. From then on, it was all I wanted to do.

Where I was stationed: Twentynine Palms, Calif. Thankfully, I spent more time in Iraq.

What I missed most about Bakersfield when I was deployed: Jillian, my beautiful then-girlfriend, now beautiful wife of seven years.

My best military accomplishment: No one under my direct charge was injured. That's all that counts.

If I had to choose a different career path, I would have become: I'm still trying to figure this one out. There was never any question as to what I would do. The future is wide open now.

My favorite memory of the military: I'd have to say that I'll always treasure that entire period of my life -- every single day of it!

Valuable advice I learned as a Marine: Never be beaten by an inanimate object. And never shake with the left hand.

What I do to stay active in the community: The way this town supports its veterans, there is no way for me not to be active! I try my best to repay the generosity and appreciation that I have been shown by helping other veterans. I currently work at the Bakersfield Vet Center, and I am a board member of the Wounded Heroes Fund.

How I stay positive: I would credit this with my upbringing and a strong support system. I am not the type to dwell on anything, so that helps. But really it's those around me that keep me up.

My favorite activity in Bakersfield: I love to spend time at Lengthwise Brewery, and conversely, the gym. I'm really a homebody though, so just hanging out with my friends and family is my idea of perfection -- at Lengthwise.

Something I would like to accomplish this year: I'd really like to get the LS6 motor that is currently sitting in my garage swapped into my Chevrolet Suburban finally.

My long-term goals: Solve a Rubik's Cube, shake hands with Clint Eastwood, raise good kids, meet my grandkids, visit Carnegie Hall and die happy.

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