By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
EDMONDS — Army 2nd Lt. Travis Alan Morgado died May 23 while on patrol in Zharay, Afghanistan, from injuries suffered when an improvised bomb exploded.
Services are to be held Sunday and Tuesday in the San Jose, Calif., area, where he was born and many of his family still live.
A graduate of Meadowdale High School and the University of Washington, Morgado, 25, joined the Army in November 2010, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in May 2011.
He was serving with the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. His unit deployed to Afghanistan in December. Officials at the base said it was Morgado’s first deployment.
During Memorial Day services in Edmonds, Mayor Dave Earling paid tribute to Morgado.
“He was raised in Edmonds. His mother lives just six blocks from me and I went to their house for a reception. More than 100 people were there,” Earling said. “He obviously was a good man who touched lives. His family was very gracious.”
Morgado earned a civil engineering degree from the university, graduating in 2009.
In his obituary published Saturday in The Herald, his family said that after graduation, Morgado told them he wanted to join the military “to give back to his country for the opportunities he was given.”
“His decision was a surprise to us since we really had no family in the military and Travis would be the first. Despite our efforts to convince him otherwise, Travis was determined to serve his country, and in the end, we respected and supported his decision while trying to remain as positive as possible.”
Among those who survive him are his mother, Andrea Velasquez Kessler of Edmonds, and stepfather Dean Kessler, his father, Joe Morgado, and stepmother Nancy Morgado in California, his brothers Eric Morgado, Carlos Morgado and Connor Morgado, and his sisters, Sofia Kessler and Ana Morgado.
The family suggests memorials in his name to the Heifer Foundation.
As of May 29, 2012, at least 1,857 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan since late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; firstname.lastname@example.org.