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Sunday, Jul. 02, 2006 at 8:52 AM
Cpl. Jason W. Morrow, 27, a Marine from Riverside died of wounds he suffered in combat in Iraq. He was wounded in Al-Anbar province on Monday and died of his injuries Tuesday, June 27, 2006.
jason_morrow_and_wife.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x320
Photo Caption: BETTER TIMES: Jason Morrow, who was stationed at Camp Pendleton, holds Evelyn Flores at her parents' Costa Mesa home.
PHOTO COURTESY THE FLORES FAMILY
Costa Mesa Marine dies in Iraq
Jason W. Morrow was mere days away from his first anniversary.
By CINDY CARCAMO
The Orange County Register
Evelyn Flores and Jason Morrow kept quiet about their intimate ceremony at the Santa Ana Courthouse a year ago this month.
The Costa Mesa couple had planned on surprising friends, holding a grand reception this fall.
She visited an open reception hall set on a hill in Tustin, snapped pictures of herself in Cinderella-like dresses and chatted with a disc jockey about reception music.
Morrow would say "Baby, whatever you want we can do it."
Now, she's placing calls, asking vendors not to call her or send brochures.
"We're not interested anymore," the 19-year-old says.
What she doesn't say is that Morrow died Tuesday in combat in Anbar province in Iraq.
"It's too hard," she explains. "It's hard enough to say it to family and friends."
The 27-year-old Morrow was a machine gunner assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force of Camp Pendleton. He joined the Marine Corps on Dec. 9, 2002.
Evelyn said the man with the chameleon-like eyes that wooed her during a blind date was more than a warrior. He was the love she'd planned on starting a family with in December. He was the man who urged her to quit working and pursue higher education.
He was the one.
The couple met between Iraq tours of duty during the holidays in 2003. Morrow, born and raised in Riverside County, eventually moved in with Flores in Costa Mesa.
The avid Angels fan proposed to Flores in front of fans and players on the field of Angel Stadium before a game in March 2005. The couple married July 5. He later threw the first pitch during a playoff game at the stadium.
He was scheduled to return July 31 from his third tour of duty in Iraq.
Flores said Morrow was proud to be serving his country and happy to help the Iraqi people who he said told him "thank you, thank you, mister" all the time. He was recently featured in a FOX News segment, Flores said.
It's still too surreal for Flores, who not too long ago threw herself into planning every detail of her wedding.
She tries not to think of how he died.
"I think of how grateful I am I had him," she said. And memories.
While Morrow loved sports, such as baseball, golf and surfing, he was also a great storyteller. He acted out his war stories with his classic facial expressions and variety of voices, friends and family said.
Morrow was the type of guy you couldn't stay mad at for long.
"He can just make you happy with just one look," Flores said.
When he knew he was in trouble, he'd roll his eyes back playfully, nod his head and flash a smile.
"Baby, you know you love me," he said.
Flores had waited to change her name to Morrow during her wedding celebration in October. Instead, she plans to change it today.
Copyright 2006 The Orange County Register
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