Craig Morgan and his family are opening up in public about the tragic death of his son, Jerry, in 2016. In a new interview, Morgan's wife Karen says that when they first learned of Jerry's death, one of her primary concerns was finding his body.

Nineteen-year-old Jerry Greer went missing on July 10, 2016, after a tubing accident on Kentucky Lake in Tennessee, not far from the family's home in the small rural community of Dickson. Jerry was being pulled along behind a boat when he went under, and although he was wearing a life jacket, he did not resurface. After a massive search that involved multiple agencies, as well as his family (Morgan is a former EMT, sheriff’s deputy and Army Ranger), his body was found late the following day.

"We just had to find him," Karen Greer tells People tearfully in an emotional new interview. "We just had to find his body."

See Photos of Craig Morgan's Son, Jerry Greer

That was not just for their sake, she explains. It was for the sake of their three other children. "We had to deal with Alex, Kyle and Wyatt. That was it," she says. "Jerry was gone, and we knew that. I wanted him found. I didn’t want to get a call six months later."

A devout Catholic, Karen reveals that Jerry wore a Saint Michael medallion every day. In Catholicism, Michael is the patron saint of warriors, the sick and the suffering, and that was also Jerry's middle name. But when he came home that summer from visiting Marshall College — where he was set to play football that fall — he told her he had lost the necklace. He died the following day during what would have normally been a fun day on the lake with friends.

"If you’re wearing a Saint Michael medal, you’re protected, and Jerry didn’t have his on,” she shares. "It was one of the questions Kyle asked. He said, ‘Why didn’t Saint Michael save him?’ I said, ‘I just think God could have, he just chose not to.'"

Morgan says the family's faith helped get them through the period after their loss, and he found himself turning not to music, but to carving to process his grief. That turned into a new project for the whole family; they recently opened a store called the Gallery at Morgan Farms in downtown Dickson to give the family a common goal, and to sell some of his hand-carved items. That store — and the family's journey through loss, faith and healing — are the subject of a new reality TV series titled Morgan Family Strong, which debuts on UP TV on March 1.

"I think we, as a family, hope that the viewers get the essence of faith and that you can do it, you can pull yourself together and make something good, and do something good for the world," Karen says.

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