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Army Pfc. Morris L. Walker

Died August 18, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

23, of Chapel Hill, N.C.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska; died Aug. 18 in Dila, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Also killed was Staff Sgt. Clayton P. Bowen.

Walker ‘had a peace about him,’ guidance counselor says

The Associated Press

Morris L. Walker was like “a ray of sunshine,” an incurable optimist as easygoing around adults as he was teenage pals.

“What I think of first when I think of Morris is his smile because he was always smiling,” said Wanda Bordone, who taught him seventh- and eighth-grade English at Fayetteville Academy in North Carolina. “He had a great sense of humor, lots of friends.”

Walker, 23, of Fayetteville, N.C., was killed Aug. 18 by a roadside bomb in Paktika province, Afghanistan. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008 and was assigned to Fort Rich.

He was on the varsity basketball team, served as student government treasurer and worked with a community service club at his high school.

“He didn’t have to be a star of anything,” said Barbara Lambert, his guidance counselor. “He just wanted to be a participant.”

Another guidance counselor, Pam Little, said Walker approached life with an unusual serenity.

“He had a peace about him that I find to be extremely rare in someone in high school,” she said. “He was always an optimist.”

And Walker always was comfortable around adults.

“He looked you in the eye and could talk to you,” said Connie Koonce, a math teacher.

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