Before she went to Iraq, Shawna Morrison was understandably worried. Not necessarily about roadside bombs, the insurgency, the heat or the language barrier _ but spiders.
Her father, Rick Morrison, said Shawna was most concerned about rumors of creepycrawlies the size of paper plates that could jump 6 feet. "We spent many hours looking for spider spray," he said. "And she never saw one."
Rick Morrison said his daughter was a bundle of energy. "She was super. She had a bubbly personality," he said. "She was a person you always wanted to be around. She wore her heart on her sleeve."
Shawna Morrison, 26, of Paris. Ill., died Sept. 5 when mortar rounds struck her base on the western outskirts of Baghdad. She was stationed in Paris, Ill.
Morrison attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and worked two jobs, one as a waitress and the other as a bartender, to put herself through school.
"She''s always been very independent," said her father. "She never asked us for a dime from day one when she moved out."
Morrison also is survived by her mother, Cindy Morrison.