The city recently announced Barry Morris as this month’s Spirit of Rowlett Award winner. This award is to publicly recognize ordinary residents doing extra-ordinary things in the community, and the recipients are nominated by the citizens of Rowlett.
Morris is a long time Rowlett resident, along with his wife JeanAnn, and was nominated by Brian Wilburn, president of Third Watch Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club.
According to Wilburn, Morris is retired from the Texas Department of Public Safety where he worked the road as a trooper and as an undercover operative. He now works as an investigator for the Rockwall County District Attorney’s Office.
"He and JeanAnn are also long-time members of Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall where they serve on various mission teams. He is a charter member of the Police Unity Tour and has ridden at places around the world to honor fallen officers,” Wilburn said. “He is one of the "Original Ten" members of Third Watch LE MC and currently serves as the Vice-President.”
He added that in August of last year while he and Morris were brainstorming about projects they could do to benefit the community that were in keeping with their mission to honor, serve, and support veterans and first responders, Morris came up with the idea to “Walk the Bridge” between Rowlett and Rockwall once each month. This served to draw attention to veterans and first responders who choose to take their own lives and to seek solutions.
“Out of that original idea, a movement was born. The first month we had 15, the second 30, and in December we had 60+. For January 2019 more than 100 have indicated that they will participate,” Wilburn said. “Additionally, the goal was to engage in a conversation about the mental health of our veterans and first responders with our elected and appointed officials. This has now happened here locally with conversations having been held on the topic with the chief of police, city manager, mayor, council member for the city of Rowlett, and State Senator Bob Hall's office.”
“They will not be the last as we intend to lead the way on the matter and it's all because of an idea that Barry had,” he continued. “Finally, during that same brainstorming session, Barry came up with an idea to show our appreciation to our first responders by initiating a "Date Night" whereby once every other month TWMC will pay for a first responder and his/her significant other to go out on a date where we will pay for the dinner, a babysitter, and a movie.”
Watch Morris’ interview with Councilman Brownie Sherrill at ci.rowlett.tx.us.