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American Legion Post 150 / Robert Morss Family (Composite)

Editorial

In Defense of My Friend, the January 6 ‘Lego Man’

The media knows Robert Morss as “Lego Man” or “January 6 defendant.” I know him as my friend.

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Some Americans hear ‘Lego Man’ and think of the nameless face that was arrested for being at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and had a Lego set model of the Capitol at home. Then there are those of us lucky to have known him for who he truly is – Robert Morss.

Robert Morss is an Army Ranger veteran who served in the 2nd Ranger Battalion. He was stationed out of Fort Lewis, Washington, and was deployed to Afghanistan three times.

During his time in the Army, Robert met Michael Rosson. Michael and Robert were both privates and had done deployments at the same time but not to the same location. At one point, Michael had been a team leader to Robert, meaning Michael oversaw Robert and a handful of soldiers.

The friendship between Michael and Robert seemed inevitable, and Michael is still defending his friend as Robert sits in a Virginia jail for attending the protests on January 6, 2021.

“Robert is the most honorable man I have had the privilege to serve with,” stated Army Ranger veteran Michael Rosson. “His authenticity as a friend, courage as a Ranger, and passion as an educator show his commitment to our community.”

“Robert is the best man I have ever known.”

Change of field: Ex-military students transition from service to classrooms | University Park Campus News | collegian.psu.edu

I met Robert a little later, toward the beginning of September of 2016, on the Pennsylvania State University campus. That day there was a debate scheduled between the College Democrats and the College Republicans.

At the time, there was a divide among the College Republicans over whether to support then-candidate Donald Trump for President. By this point, Trump was the Republican nominee, and this was the first time since the club’s founding in 1940 that the College Republicans did not support their party’s nominee.

Eventually, Robert and our friends formed what would eventually be called the “The Bull-Moose Party,” the pro-Trump alternative to the College Republicans on campus.

It was hard to miss the array of red and white Make America Great Again hats piling into the auditorium. When he walked in, I caught Robert’s attention and asked if he would like to sit with us. Thus began our friendship.

Robert was the sunshine to our group of friends. He would always show up to club events and meetings with this huge grin on his face and bright ideas. He was part of the glue that held us together.

“Rob has such a good and caring heart, with the brightness and confidence that make him an admirable and upstanding man,” said Sarah Cucchiara, another friend from our time at Penn State who was heavily involved in the pro-life movement.

“During my time with Penn State’s Students for Life, Rob was always a friendly face who stopped by our table and thanked us for what we were doing, often joining in the conversation with others who approached,” she added. “As a Christian, he joyfully supported our pro-life efforts and events on campus. He truly cares about living his faith passionately, and all my interactions with him on campus in various clubs over the years proved that.”

“I stand with Rob because I know when afforded the opportunity, he can do so much good for his community.”

Her husband, Vincent Cucchiara, had similar memories of Robert on campus.

“At Penn State, Rob enthusiastically gave his time to various service events on campus, including the Travis Manion run and the yearly 9/11 memorial flag planting on Old Main,” Vincent told me. “He always arrived early and led by example with a spirit of joy and enthusiasm for any task that afforded him the opportunity to show other his appreciation for those who served and scarified for America.”

More of our friends from Penn State, especially those who were involved in politics and The Bull-Moose Party, refuse to drop Robert as a friend.

“Rob is the type of person who would give you the shirt off of his back if you asked him for it,” said Kevin Fenchak, another Bull-Moose Party friend. “He was always reliable and kind to everyone around him. I don’t believe he has an ill-intentioned bone in his body. The way he has been treated is absolutely unconscionable.”

“If a man with his track record of public service doesn’t deserve clemency, I truly do not know who does,” Fenchak told me.

The same sentiments were shared by Chris Baker, who was our club’s communications officer.

“The Robert Morss I know is an upstanding American citizen,” Baker told me. “He is a benefit to the community because of his unwavering care for individuals. He is the first to notice when something is wrong, the first to ask if someone is in need of help, and the first to volunteer his help and he asks for nothing in return.”

“I stand with Rob because I know when afforded the opportunity, he can do so much good for his community.”

“I don’t believe he has an ill-intentioned bone in his body. The way he has been treated is absolutely unconscionable.”

Robert didn’t just leave his mark on the people he met while at Penn State. He was active in the veterans community, and left his mark in the form of an art project that is still seen at American Legion Post 150 in Petersburg, Pennsylvania.

The project at the Cloyd K. Davis American Legion Post 150 is a 10-panel mural that was painted by a handful of Penn State students, including Robert.

Morss : WWII Panel.jpg

American Legion Post 150 / Facebook

It was unveiled at the Legion’s 100 year anniversary in front of veterans from wars stretching all the way back to World War II. Panels were dedicated to the American Revolution, War of 1812, American Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, the first Gulf War, 9/11, and the final panel which honors the veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Robert dedicated the final panel to his fellow Rangers, namely Sgt. Thomas McPherson, who was killed in action October 12, 2012 during a heavy firefight in the Ghanzi Province.

Mural in Total.jpg

American Legion Post 150 / Facebook

“When the community needed something, Robert was there to step up,” said Shelly Ormsby, American Legion Post 150 treasurer. “He has proven to have a positive impact and we’re very proud to have this mural painted by such a compassionate man.”

Shae Rider, another painter of the mural, had more positive words for Robert.

“I think he’s a great man overall. He’s very dedicated, which is what made working on the mural so exciting,” said Rider. She added, “It was so nice to have someone so kindhearted reach out and be my friend.”

Mural Artists.jpg

American Legion Post 150 / Facebook

Since his arrest, Robert has had no discipline from his actions – only mistreatment from prison staff.

Julie Kelly from American Greatness has done a wonderful job covering the injustices that has happened to Robert including numerous strip searches – which may or may not have been authorized, including those of a sexual nature – macing Robert inside his mouth, and other physical and verbal abuse.

Despite these inhumane circumstances, Robert has been a positive role model within the prison system. He is working in the honor pod – a task only awarded to a few inmates for good behavior – as a painter.

Robert voluntarily cleans the prison bathroom.

He prays with other inmates and even offers to look over letters that inmates want to send to their loved ones for grammatical errors.

Robert hasn’t just been a positive influence to the other inmates. He brings them hope.

I have been blessed to have a platform where I can speak about my friend Robert Morss and his character. Many of the January 6 defendants and their loved ones don’t have a platform to speak. They rely on letters to the judge and prayers for sanity to be restored in America, all while they mark off days on the calendar that they will never get back.

They say the process is the punishment, and I think Robert is proving that’s true. Robert was arrested on June 14, 2021. He’s spent more than 10 months in jail, leaving his life on hold and his family in disarray.

His next court date is tomorrow, and Robert and his family are hoping the judge will see fit to grant bail to the U.S. Army veteran.

The judge presiding over the case is Judge Trevor McFadden. He’s previously made rulings that reflected the rule of law, though perhaps not the expectations of those who would see Robert persecuted indefinitely.

“It does feel like the government has had two standards here, and I can’t abide by that,” McFadden said regarding sentencing requests for a January 6 defendant who pleaded guilty. McFadden said that prior to the January 6 defendants, he couldn’t remember seeing a nonviolent, first-time misdemeanant “sentenced to serious jail time … regardless of their race, gender or political affiliation.”

The defendant he was sentencing is Jenny Cudd. Prosecutors wanted Cudd to serve 75 days in jail and two years of probation. McFadden went with zero days in jail, two months of probation, and a $5,000 fine.

Robert Morss, his family, and his supporters are all hoping McFadden’s cold logic will hold.

Morss’s family is raising money for his legal defense via the Christian fundraising website GiveSendGo, and expects they will need at least $85,000 for his defense.

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Kylie Thomas is a Penn State grad who is now working in politics full time.

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