This past Saturday Taylor was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Wrestling has been apart of both Taylor and my family since we can remember. In fact, when I was younger I wrestling in a meet here and there. Wrestling is a sport that is for the hardworking and determined. It is no secret that both Taylor’s wrestling career and Taylor’s rehabilitation brought out Taylor’s hardworking and determined personality.
Here is a little of what the Hall of Fame had to say about Taylor before he excepted his award.
Medal of Courage
Taylor Morris was a three-year varsity letter winner for the Cedar Falls Tiger Wrestlingteam. He was a first team all-conference in wrestling his junior and senior years and qualified for the state tournament his junior year. He finished third in districts as a senior, just missing qualifying for state again on a last second escape.
After graduating high school in 2007, Taylor joined the Navy with hopes of making it into Special Operations. Those who know him best know he always sets out to conquer the hardest and most challenging tasks. Taylor ultimately found his passion as a Navy EOD tech. EOD stands for Explosive Ordinance Disposal, which meant Taylor was trained to know the ins and outs of bombs. He began rigorous EOD training throughout the United States in 2008 and graduated July 24th, 2009. After that, he was stationed in Virginia Beach, VA, where he continued his education and training as an EOD tech. In January of 2012, Taylor was deployed on his first tour to Afghanistan, set to return home in August of 2012. His friends and family always wanted him to come back as soon as possible, missing his energetic spirit and love of life, but they never imagined it would be under these circumstances. On May 3, 2012, Taylor was injured in action. The injuries were profound, but he stayed conscious after the explosion. He was able to tell his partner to call his fiancé, Danielle Kelly, and his family to tell them everything. He sustained injuries to all four limbs, entailing loss of both legs, left arm from the bicep down, and right hand. His actions earned him the Bronze Star as well as a Purple Heart.
The story of Taylor and Danielle has inspired people across the state and the nation. His positive, fighting attitude has helped him in his recovery, and much of that spirit has come through his background in wrestling.
After rehabilitation at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C, Taylor and Danielle are now home in Cedar Falls, where Taylor has begun classes at the University of Northern Iowa.