Turner employee and Army vet recounts his military career

“I’m a country boy. I’ve never been outside of North Carolina. And I’m headed… where?”

 

At the age of 19, Don Morrison got the life-changing news in algebra class. He was being deployed with the Army to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm – the military operation to expel occupying Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

That was September 1990.

Don Morris at Dessert Storm
Don Morrison hanging out on a Humvee with his MP battalion during Operation Desert Storm.

 

Now, as a director of security at Turner, he thumbs through his photo album memories in his CNN Center office in Atlanta, recounting that “hurry up and wait period” before the bombs were dropped on the Hussein regime – coincidentally also a history-making moment for CNN.

Amid mounting fears that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein might order the use of chemical weapons, a ground invasion followed in February. Morrison recalls the hot chemical suit each soldier was issued, just in case of attack. During that time, Morrison and his military police battalion conducted roadway patrols, assisted with navigation for military convoys, and relayed messages from one post to another.

A young Don Morris

Don Morrison

Dir. of Security, Remote Locations & Special Events
Operation Desert Storm Veteran

  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Military job/rank: Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CW2)
  • Years in the armed forces: 29
  • Years at Turner: 1 year, 3 months

Amid mounting fears that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein might order the use of chemical weapons, a ground invasion followed in February. Morrison recalls the hot chemical suit each soldier was issued, just in case of attack. During that time, Morrison and his military police battalion conducted roadway patrols, assisted with navigation for military convoys, and relayed messages from one post to another.

Morrison’s military service actually began in high school when he joined the JROTC. His father – an Air Force vet himself – encouraged him to join the armed forces, mainly as a way to pay for college and help set him up for the future.

After returning to the states, Morrison joined active duty ranks and was deployed to various peace-keeping missions around the globe, including Guantanamo Bay during the Haitian refugee crisis. Later, he decided to stay in the reserves and joined the police force back home in North Carolina. From there, his career path eventually led him to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID), which is basically the Army’s version of the popular TV show “NCIS.” His duties mimicked that of Secret Service officers – providing security for high-ranking military and administration officials for U.S. and foreign governments, as well as members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Don Morris and his son Jocorey

Don Morrison with his son Jocorey, a Navy veteran.

One of the highlights of Morrison’s military career happened during one of those military escorts. He was able to surprise his son – a former U.S. Navy airman – aboard the USS Carl Vinson during a USO event.

“I couldn’t be more proud in that moment,” he says. “Being with Jocorey on that ship and sharing that experience.”

Today, Morrison is a member of the Turner VETS Business Resource Group (BRG) and says he’s proud of the investment the company has made in employees who have served or are currently serving to preserve our freedom and keep us safe from harm.

“Turner benefits from hiring former and active duty military members – bringing them into company ranks,” says Morrison. “Veterans are already equipped with built-in leadership traits like discipline and an appetite to learn and grow, which are invaluable at a company like Turner.”

Be sure to watch Morrison’s appearance on TCM this Veterans Day weekend. Beginning at 9 a.m. ET on Nov. 11 and continuing through Nov. 12, TCM host Ben Mankiewicz sits down with eight veterans to discuss a particular film that has been meaningful to them. Morrison’s film selection “Lost in a Harem,” (1944) will be playing on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 11:15 a.m. ET.