Vietnam vet and Medal of Honor recipient inspires Silverado cadets

Melvin Morris gives motivational lecture to JROTC cadets


Landen Munns

Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant 1st class Melvin Morris speaks to Silverado cadets.

Adrian Morfin, Staff Writer

On Oct. 25, Sergeant 1st class Melvin Morris was greeted in room 200 by Silverado JROTC students with a round of applause. Morris returned their respect by praising them for making the first step towards serving their country. 

In his speech to the young Silverado cadets, Morris began by telling what he learned while in service and during his childhood. He spoke from his experience in the military as “a brotherhood” and advised them to “take care of each other as little special families and do what you have to do–educate yourself, train yourself.”

The main message Morris portrayed was to never give up and be determined. 

“The uniform you have means a lot, and when you go on to your regular uniform, be proud of yourself,” Morris said. 

Morris focused on how “education is key,” and “ the learning process never stops.” 

He learned this early on in life because he was too poor to go to school after 8th grade. However, he was determined to self study, which taught him lessons like determination and dedication. It was through that determination and dedication that he achieved becoming a Green Beret.

 “You always tell yourself, ‘I can do this, I can do this,’” Morris said, which was one of his main lessons to the JROTC members. The other was “to be determined” and “never give up.” 

Morris lives by all of these lessons to this day and still serves his country by giving back to communities around America. 

During the Q & A portion after his speech, a student asked Morris about his goals in life. Morris answered he wants to “support and give back to the young.”

 At the end of his meeting and lecture, students had the honor of taking photos with Morris.

Proud of serving for 26 years, Sergeant 1st class Morris received the Medal of Honor from President Obama in 2014. He earned his medal during the Vietnam War by going behind enemy lines, destroying four bunkers and retrieving his fallen comrade back to friendly lines all while being shot three three times. He also received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star as well as many other awards. He now spends his time traveling to places and schools, speaking to future generations.