DANSVILLE — It has been a year since the community awoke to the sudden loss of a fallen hero.
There have been many tributes put in place to honor the life of Airman SSG. Alexandria Gleason-Morrow, 25, who tragically lost her life during a non-combat operation when she was stationed in Jordan on March 21, 2017. She was a mother, daughter, wife, sister, and friend.
The latest in tributes comes from Congressman Chris Collins on the anniversary of her death.
Collins introduced a bill to rename the Dansville Post Office after Gleason-Morrow in order to honor the legacy she left behind. Gleason-Morrow, a Dansville native, enlisted in the Air Force after graduating high school, and was assigned to the 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.
“SSG. Gleason-Morrow was a true American hero who gave her life while serving our nation,” said Collins. “It is absolutely devastating that two beautiful young girls are left without a mother who was a remarkable example of service and bravery. It is my hope that her memory will live on in the Dansville community and that SSgt Gleason-Morrow’s family and friends will find a piece of solace in this honor.”
Her family continues to be deeply moved by the outpour of love for their fallen warrior.
“Alexandria Mae Gleason Morrow was a great American that loved her country and put her life on the line to defend us all, ultimately she lost her life while serving our beautiful country,” said Stephanie Gleason, Alexandria’s mother. “She was a top notch Airmen that gave her all and never expected anything but perfection from those around her, but was willing to teach anyone to become the best they could possibly be.”
Friends and colleagues described Gleason-Morrow as a kind-hearted person who had a passion for serving her county.
“Alex was an amazing soul. Alex first and foremost was a beautiful person inside and out, she was the best daughter, granddaughter, sister, mother, wife and friend to us all, she radiated light wherever she was,” Stephanie Gleason added. “I am a grateful American for all of are men and women in uniform past, present and future, I would also like to thank Congressman Chris Collins and his entire staff for working so tirelessly to make this happen.”
Gleason-Morrow’s sacrifice has been honored by her fellow veterans, community, family, and friends over the past year.
The Livingston Arts in Mount Morris was approached by Livingston County Veteran Services Director Jason Skinner to do an art scholarship in her honor a few weeks after her passing.
“Even after her passing, Airman Gleason-Morrow continues to serve, opening the door for others to a career in the arts, sadly one that she will never pass through herself,” he said. “Alexandria was a student artist in our Scholastic Art Show. Her enthusiasm and love for art enriched her entire community. We are honored to commemorate her by naming this scholarship as a memorial to her and her dream to become an art teacher.”
On April 5, 2017 Livingston Arts and Livingston County Veteran’s Services Agency jointly decided that the Scholastic Arts Scholarships will be renamed the Staff Sergeant Alexandria Mae Gleason Morrow Art Scholarship Awards.
Livingston Arts Executive Director Betsy Harris said this will keep the scholarship going for over a decade. They can now raise the award to $350 per-student who wins.
Harris said that this was the perfect way to honor Gleason-Morrow since she aspired to be an art teacher once she retired from the military.
“She wanted to pursue art, so we can honor her by giving an award to those who pursue art,” she said. “We want her legacy to live on for as many years as possible. At first we didn’t have enough. We would’ve been out of money in five years, but thanks to this generous donation we have enough for 12 years.”
Harris added that anyone can donate to this scholarship, and all the finds go directly into a special account to be used for this purpose. The scholarship honors her lifelong interest in art and commemorates her legacy of service.