In five short years, 2006 Sayville High School graduate Lance Cpl. Christopher “CJ” Morrissey has been deployed twice to Iraq, once to Afghanistan and assisted in humanitarian missions in tsunami-ravaged Japan.
Today, he is scheduled to return home, arriving to a red-carpet welcome organized by Islip Town and Long Island MacArthur Airport officials.
Yesterday, his mother, Zee Morrissey of Sayville, was shopping for groceries for the celebration marking his return.
The 22-year-old entered the Marines right after graduating from high school, she said, because he wanted to be a police officer like his father, a Navy veteran who died when Christopher was 2 1/2.
“He felt the Marines was the right preparation,” Morrissey said. “He’s wanted to be a police officer since first grade.”
Morrissey said her faith that “we’re always exactly where we’re meant to be” had enabled her to stay calm through the five years her son was overseas, though she conceded that his stint in Afghanistan had given her pause.
“It was so dangerous and the facilities there so basic,” she said. Morrissey also has a daughter, Kacey, 21, who attends Columbia University’s School of Engineering.
Her son, newly discharged, was to be met at MacArthur by his mother, friends, Islip Deputy Supervisor Gene Parrington and representatives of Sayville veterans groups. A welcome-home party was be hosted by the Smith-Weaver American Legion Post in Sayville.