Biography of Morgan Jellett

Brig. Gen. US Army

 (Deceased 12-22-2020)

Morgan Jellett graduated from University of Nevada in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science degree in metallurgical engineering. While at Nevada he played varsity basketball as a point guard and was on the varsity track team.  He was President of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, President of Sigma Tau Engineering Fraternity, a member of Blue Key and Coffin and Keys. He was Cadet Commander of the University of Nevada ROTC Brigade, and graduated distinguished military graduate (DMG) receiving a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army-Air Defense Artillery.

In 1971 he received a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology in Alabama.

His military education included the Air Defense Artillery basic and advanced courses, Fort Bliss, Texas. After officer’s basic course, he completed Ranger and Airborne Schools. Later, he attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, D.C.

His command experience included the 3rd Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery (HAWK), 32nd Army Air Defense Command, Germany, and the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Fort Bliss, Texas.

Subsequent tours included the Republic of Vietnam; the Air Defense Board, Fort Bliss, Headquarters, Army Air Defense Command, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Korea; the Combat Developments Directorate, U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School, Fort Bliss; deputy chief of staff for Operations and Training, 32nd Army Air Defense Command, Germany. He also served as military staff assistant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

Then, he served as deputy program manager for integration in the Air Defense Programs Office, U.S. Army missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala. He was project manager for the Airborne Optical Adjunct (AOA), a part of the U.S. Army Strategic Defense Command (USASDC), and command director for the North American Aerospace Defense Command Combat Operations, Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Colorado.

He was selected for Brigadier General in July 1987.  His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal and the Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters. He earned the Combat Infantry Badge as well as the Ranger Tab and Parachutist Badge.

Following retirement from the Army, he was active in Habitat for Humanity leading the construction of seven homes in ten days. He was the conference and Council President of St Vincent de Paul in El Paso Texas.  St Vincent De Paul provides rent, utility and medical assistance for the needy; it is an all- volunteer organization whose volunteers make home visits to help the needy.

He was the Huntsville AL, Council President of St Vincent De Paul, serving all of North Alabama with over twenty-four thousand people and provided over one million dollars in financial and in-kind aid in 2018.  During his tenure he initiated a Low-Cost Loan Program which paid off the high interest costs from title and signature loans and provided a loan of 1.0 % interest.

He headed the North Alabama Coalition for the Mentally Ill which assigned two case workers to work with the mentally ill to keep them out of jail, and to arrange housing for them. Other programs instituted include: a car repair program to either repair cars or provide vehicles to those needing transportation for work (over 400 vehicles have been repaired and seventy vehicles placed) and a Gear Program to provide needed clothing and equipment for those needing these items for employment.

Morgan was the St Vincent De Paul National Vice President for the South East Region which encompasses the eight Southeastern States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. He was deployed to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to help in disaster relief.

He was active in the Rotary Club of Greater Huntsville helping build ramps to give disabled access to their homes. He and his lovely wife Ceil were married for forty-nine years and had two sons, Matt, a patent lawyer with the US Patent office and Tim, a geological engineer in Florida.  They have three grandchildren.

“The Rhymes & Rhythms of a Life”


“The Rhymes & Rhythms of a Life“( 2019, B & K Publishers), a small but powerful work of non-fiction containing Ben’s poems, ditties, and short stories covering a host of entertaining subjects from doctor’s screw ups to gripes about growing old in a society that barely tolerates old folks.

At age five, Ben Echeverria was already an entertainer. He loved to dress up in formal wear and strike poses for the camera. He enjoyed being on stage or behind a set of drums. He has entertained others all of his life.

The Rhymes & Rhythms of a Life” has been a long time in development. It really began in 1938 when Ben was born and it grew with him over his 81 years of life. It is an entertaining work of non-fiction consisting of poems-Ben calls them ‘ditties’, and short stories, creatively presented with background text, punctuated by spasms of spontaneity. Ben likes to tell people that he is a “recovering drummer”, or a “recovering meat cutter”, or a “recovering lawyer”. Notice the constant in all three is the word “recovering”. He is working on a fourth-stage of recovery-probably his final one- a “recovering poet and writer”.

Please humor Ben, and buy this book for your family and friends, and be sure to buy one for yourself, and enjoy it.

It is currently available on and Barnes & and The Tattered Cover on line.

Thanks, Ole Ben


Ben Echeverria
February 2, 2019

Original response….
Composed unconsciously,
Emanating from the depths of the soul,
Recorded first in subconsciousness,
Released in its own time.
It may never hear the light of day,
In the unconscious it may ever stay,
But, it’s there forever.
What could trigger its release?
An event, a sound, a smell,
An inner voice saying, “release me, please let me go.”
Partnering with another,
Musicians on the same page,
Playing on the same stage,
Their lives intertwined,
Music their bonding agent,
Audience their catalyst,
Tone and rhythm, nuanced and joined,
Released together, then alone,
sans paper,
A tone poem.

“The Last Breath”

Ben Echeverria
January 21, 2019

The breath of father time
blows upon his neck,
down his back,
encircling his body with a chill,
an odor of aged fruit,
a fallen papaya–its pungent juices
in the winter air,
quaffing its fragrance into the wind.
Death, too, soon to come,
encircling his body with a chill,
the fallen fruit of his life,
lying in its own pungent juices,
in the winter air
quaffing his last breath
into the wind.


by Ben Echeverria
Written: November 24, 2014
First Published: January 9, 2019

The legs are tired,
but not the will.
The lips are cold,
but not yet still.

His life is long,
some right, some wrong.
His will to live
is still quite strong.

He takes each day
the way it comes.
The mind still clear
and filled with song.

The music sweet,
it frees the fear,
it moves the feet,
and brings a cheer.

He has no reason
to think the end.
The road well traveled
was full of bends.

Around each curve
new scenes appeared,
sometimes with laughter,
other times with tears.

A life well lived,
a mating well made.
At last he found
a friend who stayed.

The Deer of Woodland Park

Deer close up 11-27-18
Ben Echeverria

It’s almost dark
In Woodland Park,
And the deer are on the move.

A big tan doe
Leads the herd,
Her belly large with another.

She rules the herd
With an iron hoof,
and experience as a mother.

At the end of the group
comes a forked horn,
All a bulge with his growing muscle.

He’s preparing himself
For the day to come
When another buck he’ll tussle.

It’s an impressive sight,
This majestic herd,
As they stroll so gracefully by.

But, knowing their fate
At the hunter’s bow
Can surely make one cry.

Continue reading “The Deer of Woodland Park”

No One Cares When We’re Old

No One Cares
When We’re Old & Cold
Ben Echeverria

No one cares
when we’re old and cold,
Very few will care
when we die.

The world we live in
cares not for its old,
They just write us off
with a sigh.

We’re written off
like an old bad debt-
like a check that has bounced
one last time.

A wish for a Mulligan
For a life well lived,
To play the back nine
in slow time.

It won’t come about,
as hard be the try,
So, we must play the ball
Where it lies.