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"Something I never would’ve dreamed of" Meet 2024's Tehachapi Citizen of the Year

Stan Morgan spent most of his life giving back. He spent 22 years in the Navy, and now in his retirement, he spends his days caring for his community.
Posted at 5:25 PM, Mar 13, 2024

TEHACHAPI, Calif. (KERO) — Stan Morgan expressed gratitude to his community for the honor. Stan tells 23ABC that Tehachapi is "the only place [he's] lived where [he]calls it home.” Now, his home calls him Citizen of the Year.

  • Video shows Stan Morgan expressing gratitude to his community for a recent honor. Stan tells 23ABC that Tehachapi is "the only place [he's] ever lived where [he] can call it home.” And now, his home is calling him Citizen of the Year.
  • Citizen of the Year is an annual honor given to a member of the Tehachapi community. The "Tehachapi's Finest" awards are co-sponsored by Tehachapi News and the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce. The official award ceremony to honor the winners will be at the Tehachapi's Finest Gala on March 23.
  • Stan Morgan says he "Never would’ve dreamed of" being named Citizen of the Year. He says he lives his day-to-day life taking care of the community he's proud to call home for the past 30 years.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Stan Morgan is someone in Tehachapi who holds many titles. He’s a Veteran, a husband, a father and a board member here at the Senior Center. Recently, his community voted him a new title: Citizen of the Year.

“It’s not something that happens to guys like me. I’m more behind the scenes kinda guy. I just do my thing,” Morgan says.

Behind the scenes, Stan's day-to-day life is dedicated to serving his community. He says for the past ten years, he’s been coming to the Senior Center. I spent time at the center, and the people I spoke to told me that the facility offers a supportive community within the greater Tehachapi community.

It’s a place for them to gather together to share a meal, an exercise class or even their feelings.

“People might just walk in the door off the streets and want to talk. They may have just lost somebody or want to talk, so we’ll go into the office and we’ll talk for a little bit," said Morgan. "So, you just never know what the day’s gonna bring.”

For Stan, giving back is almost second nature. He tells me he spent 22 years serving in the Navy, 14 of which he was at sea.

“I was gone basically from home for 14 years. My wife was, essentially, a married single parent.”

After coming ashore, Stan says he started a second career working in the Tehachapi Correctional Facility.

Now, in his retirement, he’s serving again.

“One of the people coming in here asked me what I think of my reward," Morgan said. "I told them I get a reward every day.”

Neighborhood News Reporter Grace Laverriere interviewing Richard Smith in Tehachapi. Richard says he nominated Stan Morgan for Citizen of the Year.
Neighborhood News Reporter Grace Laverriere interviewing Richard Smith in Tehachapi. Richard says he nominated Stan Morgan for Citizen of the Year.

“I started coming here shortly after I lost my wife of 48 years,” said Richard Smith.

Richard Smith is one of those people. He tells me since meeting Stan and others at the Senior Center, he’s been able to navigate this new phase of life since losing his wife.

“[It] has been a very uplifting experience for me to help me cope with the loss of my wife,” Smith said.

Richard says he nominated Stan for Citizen of the Year, and he describes Stan as humble and ready to help whoever he can.

“He’s very much a part of this community….he’s just a very wonderful man," Smith said. "I feel very blessed to know him and to have him as a friend.”

The official ceremony honoring Stan and the other winners will be March 23 at the Chamber of Commerce “Tehachapi’s Finest” gala. "Tehachapi's Finest" awards are co-sponsored by Tehachapi News and the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce.


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