Former marine continues to fulfill his passion of helping out others daily


Following an honorable discharge from service, former U.S. Marine Mike Morgan has developed not only his passion for community protection by becoming a police officer in Milbank and member of the National Guard, but he has also developed his passion for singing.

On January 24, Morgan sang the national anthem at the South Dakota State University Air Force wrestling meet, a moment in which he could show his patriotism and his love for singing at the same time.

Morgan’s performance was well received on the day of the wrestling meet, which was also military appreciation day.

“It was an honor to have such an individual on military appreciation day [singing at the wrestling meet],” Jon Reader, the SDSU Wrestling assistant coach, said. “We’re honored and we love to support all military categories, but we were very honored, and to be able to have [Morgan] sing the national anthem — he did an amazing job.”

Morgan was asked to sing for this event by his National Guard Readiness Non-Commissioned Officer Paul Mausbach since his passion for singing is well known to the people around him.

“[He has] great passion for the military and for serving his community and country, he cares immensely for the community and the National Guard and the United States,” Mausbach said. “I asked him to sing at the SDSU wrestling Air Force event and he did it without hesitation. He will volunteer for anything.”

But this wasn’t the start to Morgan’s performing. He previously sang for numerous events, including: talent shows, weddings and an opening act for Toby Keith at WE Fest held in Minnesota. Morgan has even tried out for the TV show “The Voice” and nearly made it.

“It’s just a God given talent. I believe it touches people’s’ lives,” Morgan said. “[In 2012] I just decided to try it. My wife wanted me to audition [for “The Voice”], and I did, and I got called back to Chicago and then to Los Angeles and then to Las Vegas.”

Morgan will be opening for Farley Fest this July in Milbank by singing the National Anthem once again.

Along with a shift in Morgan’s life and his increasing passion for singing, his career took a turn when he was honorably discharged and was forced to make some big life decisions. 

Morgan decided to keep his focus on protecting the people around him in his community by becoming a police officer in Milbank, South Dakota and joining the Brookings National Guard Headquarters and Headquarters Company 139th Brigade Support Battalion.

“I wasn’t done being a protector, and I like helping people. It’s in my blood, so [being a police officer] was the best job I could get for doing that,” Morgan said. “My dad was a retired Marine so I grew up in that life, and I knew I wanted to do that. 

I wanted to get back in the uniform [so I joined the National Guard] … I still wanted to serve my country.”

People around Morgan are inspired by his passion and energy, Mausbach said, and they believe that he puts forth complete effort in what he does.

“He’ll take a [Guard] night shift, sleep two hours and go home and proceed to drive to Brookings the next day without hesitation,” Mausbach said. “He has a positive energy amongst him and he’s always putting a positive twist on things and puts humor on things — [he’s] very engaging.”

Morgan credits the people in his life as his source of inspiration everyday to help him do everything he does, whether it is a late night patrol shift or volunteering to sing at a festival or talent show.

“I would say my dad has helped guide me, he was a great influence and example, I learned from him. And my wife, she’s a strong woman to help support me … I’m a lucky guy,” Morgan said. “My boys give me my energy, I give them everything they need and everything they want.”

Along with an energetic personality, Morgan can be a very relatable person as well, Reader said, who had the opportunity to meet Morgan prior to his national anthem performance.

“Not only is he an amazing singer but he’s a down-to-earth amazing guy,” Reader said. “He did a spectacular job, and I think he has a real talent outside of his military career. He’s a great singer.”

This summer, Morgan will be training to become a certified D.A.R.E. officer and hopes to translate those skills to his military life as well as into his law enforcement life. 

“A lot of kids don’t have very good home lives and for me to be a better influence and role model for them makes a difference, and I want them to know we [cops] are not all bad,” Morgan said.

Even though he has a busy life, Morgan pushes himself to stay engaged in his community and with his family. 

“I just do it,” Morgan said. “It has to be done, taking one step at a time and just breathe.”