Local veteran continues to serve community after multiple deployments

A local veteran is continuing to serve, well-after his multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Daniel Morgan is a retired Army colonel and is now on the board of directors of Tuesday's Children, a nonprofit organization.

Morgan joined FOX 7 Austin's Mike Warren to discuss his continued service.

Mike Warren: First, Tuesday's children, what is it? What does it do?

Daniel Morgan: Tuesday Children's, a nonprofit organization that was founded initially on 911, the attack in New York City on the towers, as well as the Pentagon in Pennsylvania, it impacted, obviously, a lot of families that lost either, you know, a loved one from the towers or in emergency services and the police and fire rescue. And so these days, children was born out of that to take care of those families. What's unique about Tuesday's children is that it takes care of families long term. There's no timeline associated with it. So it's a long term healing process that we provide programs and services over the duration of how long we think, you know, they need it and how long they want it. Right. 

Mike Warren: And you're focusing on veterans, as well.

Daniel Morgan: Yeah. At about ten years ago, we shifted and started taking care of Gold Star family members who have lost a loved one, whether it was a spouse or the father or mother in time of service in our military. And we've been providing about 37,000 up until now nationwide. And one of our top priorities is continuing expansion here in Texas due to the veteran population and Gold Star family members that are here in the state.

Mike Warren: Right. Right now, you are an author as well. Tell us about that.

Daniel Morgan: Yes, I've written a couple of books, but the most recent one that has come out is called Black Hearts and Painted Guns of Italians journeying into Iraq's Triangle of Death. It's during a period of time, where we were hunting for Zarqawi, who was considered the number one terrorist at that time in the global war on terrorism. And the story's written through the eyes of one of our soldiers that was in our unit court named Kelly EADS, and he's a coauthor with me in the book. 

Mike Warren: You're out of the military now, obviously retired, yet you still stay involved. Why?

Daniel Morgan: It's a very good question, and it's a tough question that a lot of veterans ask themselves on a day-to-day basis because of being in part of a team environment with the values and the sacrifice and the loyalty to the mission, to each other and to the family is something that never leaves you. And so when you depart the military, whether after five years or 20 plus years, you do struggle with that type of environment because it's a completely different environment once you're out. And so being able to provide those types of services back to veterans, but particularly with Tuesday's children, which all the proceeds from this book does go to Tuesday's children Gold Star programs allows me to have a better connection and allows me to continue on helping and serving others that I was doing in the past.

Mike Warren: For veterans out there who have come back from deployments. What challenges do you see for them, and how are they facing those challenges?

Daniel Morgan: Yeah, that is a really tough dilemma that people face in the book. We talk about that, and it is near the end of the book, and it's what I termed with Kelly is the kitchen table battlefield and spouses, you know, or just regular family members. If you're not for veterans not married, they have their own routine, and they have to continue on with their life, you know, whether it's soccer games, lacrosse games, church family get togethers. And the veteran's not there. He's not there because he's deployed, and he's doing something else. And so when that veteran comes back, you have two parallel lives that are completely different. And it's very hard to reintegrate back into that routine because you don't want to do it too quickly. Right. And you don't want to do it too slowly. And then it's hard for a lot of people to comprehend what that veteran goes through, whether it's actually a combat fight where you see, quote unquote, blood and guts or whether it's just the separation and stress of being apart from your family. Yeah, it's just difficult. 

Mike Warren: A lot of challenges out there. We're out of time for now. Dan Morgan, we appreciate your coming by. And we thank you for your service and your continuing service.