CHEEKTOWAGA, NY (WIVB) - A full military transport awaited the body of Army Spc. Ian Morgan Saturday afternoon, as he arrived home, for the final time.
Spc. Morgan died Sunday, from what the Army says appears to have been an accidental fall at Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio, Texas.
His adoptive family, military members, and officers from the Cheektowaga, Amherst, Transit and State Police received his body at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, and escorted him to Lombardo Funeral Home.
Cheryl and Robert Anderson took Ian Morgan into their home when he was 16 years old, shortly after the death of his father, whom they say Ian idolized.
“On his dad’s death bed, he asked my husband to please, watch out for him,” Cheryl Anderson told News 4 earlier this week. “My husband takes those things very seriously, and vowed that he would look out for him which is what he did. That’s why we call him our stepson. He became another son. Really did.”
“His dad was a military — served our military. [I] thank him for that. And his grandfather. So Ian comes from a family of military, of a military line,” Bob Anderson explained.
Spc. Morgan overcame an addiction to painkillers in his teenaged years and enlisted, training overseas in South Korea, until he was injured in another accidental fall about a year-and-a-half ago, and returned to the States.
“He really loved serving,” his stepsister, April Anderson, recalled. She said she had talked to him about coming home many times, but he wanted to keep re-enlisting, she believes in part to make his late father proud.
“He did want to move up higher in the service for a while, he wanted to have more authority in the service,” she said.
His stepfamily says Ian Morgan had many close friends in the military, from Korea to Texas to Western New York, many of whom are expected to come pay their respects at his funeral on Friday.
“From his military sergeants, his staffing sergeants,” said Bob Anderson. “He was everybody’s friend. He was compassionate,” Cheryl added.
April Anderson said she recently spoke with friends of Ian Morgan’s, who were attending school with him.
“Everyone was upset; they want to come to the funeral. He was just loved by so many people, I mean, I’m like speechless about him.”
Calling hours for Army Spc. Ian Morgan will be 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Thursday, February 20 at Lombardo Funeral Home, 885 Niagara Falls Boulevard in Amherst (near Sheridan Drive/Eggert Road). A funeral will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, February 21 at The Chapel at CrossPoint, 500 CrossPoint Parkway in Getzville.