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Henry A. Barrios

Wounded veteran Evan Morgan plays at the Salute To Our Local Heroes event in 2011.

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Casey Christie

Evan Morgan

U.S. Marine Evan Morgan was on his second tour of duty in Iraq in 2005 when the Humvee he was riding in was struck by a roadside bomb. He lost both legs in the explosion.

Since returning to Bakersfield, he has exemplified the community's generosity, unity and support for its veterans who have suffered life-altering injuries.

Age: 29

0352 Anti-tank Assaultman (shot at tanks with TOW missiles).

I served in the military for: Four years, the last one in hospitals and rehabilitation.

Why I decided to join: I was inspired by my older brother who joined the Marine Corps when I was 8 years old. From then on, it was all I wanted to do.

Where I was stationed: Twentynine Palms, Calif. Thankfully, I spent more time in Iraq.

What I missed most about Bakersfield when I was deployed: Jillian, my beautiful then-girlfriend, now beautiful wife of seven years.

My best military accomplishment: No one under my direct charge was injured. That's all that counts.

If I had to choose a different career path, I would have become: I'm still trying to figure this one out. There was never any question as to what I would do. The future is wide open now.

My favorite memory of the military: I'd have to say that I'll always treasure that entire period of my life -- every single day of it!

Valuable advice I learned as a Marine: Never be beaten by an inanimate object. And never shake with the left hand.

What I do to stay active in the community: The way this town supports its veterans, there is no way for me not to be active! I try my best to repay the generosity and appreciation that I have been shown by helping other veterans. I currently work at the Bakersfield Vet Center, and I am a board member of the Wounded Heroes Fund.

How I stay positive: I would credit this with my upbringing and a strong support system. I am not the type to dwell on anything, so that helps. But really it's those around me that keep me up.

My favorite activity in Bakersfield: I love to spend time at Lengthwise Brewery, and conversely, the gym. I'm really a homebody though, so just hanging out with my friends and family is my idea of perfection -- at Lengthwise.

Something I would like to accomplish this year: I'd really like to get the LS6 motor that is currently sitting in my garage swapped into my Chevrolet Suburban finally.

My long-term goals: Solve a Rubik's Cube, shake hands with Clint Eastwood, raise good kids, meet my grandkids, visit Carnegie Hall and die happy.