Arlington Soldier Killed in Iraq

9-30-05 - From the time he finished high school, Sgt. Steve Morin Jr. made serving in the military his career, his family said.

"He always stood up for what he thought was right," Gwendolyn Michelle Morin, his wife, said Thursday. "He was a fighter. He would never give up."

On Wednesday, the Arlington soldier was killed west of Umm Qasr, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device went off, overturning the military vehicle in which he was riding, the Defense Department announced Thursday.

Gwendolyn Morin said she had talked to him about four hours before he died.

"He had called me to let me know what he was going to do that day," she said. He expected to be able to call her more often because of the missions he was being assigned. Sometimes they would go 11 or 12 days between calls.

Morin told his wife how much he loved her and their family.

"We had our whole lives ahead of us," she said. "He had so much potential. He was intelligent and determined."

Morin enlisted in the Navy after graduating high school in his hometown of Brownfield at 17. By 34, Morin had devoted 14 years to the Navy, served in the National Guard for two and planned to attend Officers Candidate School.

He was assigned to the Army National Guard's 111th Engineer Battalion, 36th Infantry Division in Mineral Wells.