DANSVILLE — It has been a year since a community woke to the sudden loss of a fallen hero.
There have been many tributes put in place to honor the life of Air Force Staff Sgt. Alexandria Gleason-Morrow, 25, who tragically lost her life during a non-combat operation where 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 outpouring 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 Airman 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.”
Collins introduced this bill on March 22, 2018, which marked the one year anniversary of Gleason-Morrow’s death. 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 our 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.
The first prize-winning high school students to receive this honor on April 29 were Mira Sprinkle of Avon, and Kendra Gebo of Livonia. They each were given $200.
Two seniors pursuing an arts-related field in college will receive the Staff Sergeant Alexandria Mae Gleason Morrow Art Scholarship Awards. The scholarships are underwritten by Steed Energy. Any school in the county can nominate students for this award as long as they qualify.
On July 6, 2017 Coast Professional Inc. awarded Livingston Arts with $8,050 towards the fallen soldier’s scholarship.
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 funds 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.
Harris said Gleason-Morrow’s family will receive a lifetime membership at Livingston Arts, offering free admission and use of the facility.
Gleason-Morrow is a former participant in the Livingston Arts Scholastic Art Show.