Loved ones give final salute to WNY solider

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – Loved ones gathered at the Chapel at Crosspoint in Getzville on Friday to give a final salute to Army Specialist Ian Patrick Morgan.

The Town of Tonawanda native was found dead just outside his barracks at Fort Sam Houston in Texas 12 days ago. Investigators say his death was caused by an accidental fall.

The 28-year-old had overcome many obstacles in his life, only to have his life end suddenly. But those who knew him say the relationships he built ran deep.

PHOTOS | Patriot Guard Riders stood at attention as the body of Ian Patrick Morgan was carried out of the church

Aaron Turk, who knew Morgan in the Army, said, “Ian was my brother. Not just in the sense that we’re all in the Army and military in general, brother and sister. He was my brother.”

Morgan was adopted by the Anderson family after his father died when Morgan was 16-years-old. The then-teenager struggled to overcome an addiction to prescription pain pills.

“On his dad’s death bed, he asked my husband to please, watch out for him,” Cheryl Anderson, Morgan’s adoptive mother, 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.”

Morgan overcame his demons and joined the Army, following in his father’s footsteps.

Cheryl said, “We’re so appreciative we did have him. He made me laugh. He made me cry. He really drove me nuts sometimes, but other times I was so blessed.”

Bob Anderson, his adoptive father, added, “He loved so many people. He made an impression on people. He made an impression on us.”

In the Army, it was said Morgan made very close friends, took on challenges, and worked tirelessly for his unit, once befriending needy children in a shelter near his base in San Antonio.

Company Commander Capt. Joel Joyce said, “And he said, ‘It’s a great thing for the unit, sir. It’s a great thing for us to give back to those that have nothing.'”

Morgan is said to have become a selfless team player and an inspiration to others.

His cousin, Kim Morgan, said, “In spite of all the things that he had going on in his life, Ian was very kind, very loving, and very easy to get along with.”

At the service on Friday, Pastor Rich George said, “God has given Ian an honorable discharge from his duty, as he has met his destiny.”

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