Travis M Nelson
August 18, 2011
Killed while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
|Lance Cpl. Travis M. Nelson, 19, of Pace, Fla., died Aug. 18 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Morris W. Nelson, Daniel Sanspree and his great-grandmother, Gladys Brunson. He is survived by his parents, Scott and Beckie Sanspree Nelson of Bratt; brother, Daniel and Melissa Nelson of Century; half-brother, Chandler Case of Daphne; two sisters, Jenna Nelson and Kevin McCall of Brewton and Anna Nelson of Bratt; his grandmothers, Ann Sanspree of Atmore and Louise Nelson of Brewton; and a number of aunts and uncles.|
|From North Escambia northescambia.com 08/19/11:
Local Marine Travis Nelson Killed In Afghanistan
A local family learned Thursday that their 19-year old Marine son, LCpl Travis Nelson, was shot and killed while conducting combat operations in in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Travis Nelson — a member of the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. — had been in Afghanistan for about a month. His 19th birthday was just two weeks ago.
Travis attended Bratt Elementary School from the first through fifth grades and Ernest Ward Middle School through the seventh grade. His family then moved to Pace, where he attended Pace High School.
Travis grew up in a military family. Friends said Thursday night that they remember a young Travis always had two things on his mind — fishing and growing up to join the military.
“He had the military in his blood growing up,” said close family friend Janet Little Cooper of Bratt, who watched Travis grow up with her son. “That’s what he always wanted. He never faltered on that.”
Chris Chambliss agreed. He coached Travis in Northwest Escambia baseball at Bradberry Park in Walnut Hill.
“He talked about the military a lot when he was young. He always wanted to be a Marine when he became a young man,” he said.
His parents, Beckie and Scott Nelson, moved back to Bratt about a year ago. His sister, Anna, will begin the sixth grade Monday at Ernest Ward Middle School. Travis was engaged to Madeline Cates of Pace; She had recently moved to Bratt to live with the Nelson family to await Travis’ return from Afghanistan.
Funeral arrangements are not yet complete.
|From North Escambia northescambia.com
Fallen Marine’s Family: He Was Our Hero
Their world was shattered about noon Thursday at the Nelson home in Bratt as three men in military uniforms stood at the door.
“I just screamed and said no,” Beckie said Friday, just over 24 hours after she learned that her son, LCpl Travis Nelson, was shot and killed while conducting combat operations in in Helmand province, Afghanistan. “I just went to my knees and said don’t let them come in. I knew right away that he was gone.”
Late Friday afternoon, Beckie sat holding a framed 5×7 photo of Travis. She has held onto the photo practically every moment since Thursday afternoon.
“He will always be our hero,” Scott Nelson said of their son.
Travis Nelson’s first love in his young life was fishing. At four years old, he would spend hours with relatives fishing on the Escambia River. No matter how old he got, he never gave up the love for a fishing pole and hook.
“He did not go to the beach to swim or watch the girls in their bathing suits,” Beckie said. “He loved to fish.”
He also loved playing baseball at Northwest Escambia’s Bradberry Park in Walnut Hill. “He couldn’t tie his shoes; he would trip on his shoelaces. But he sure could hit those home runs,” she said with a smile.
The Nelsons knew that Travis wanted a career in the military from a young age, and they supported him. At 14, he joined the Young Marines of Pensacola.
“We talked it out for hours, Scott said. “He wanted to serve his country. I was so proud that he had a direction in his life.”
Beckie Nelson, who served in the Navy, also supported Travis’ decision to join the Marines, but she encouraged him to go into avionics, not the infantry.
“I knew he would be safer in a plane than he would with a gun in his hand,” Beckie said.
“But he would not have it that way. He would tell me that it did not always have to be somebody else serving in the infantry. He was not scared.”
Travis Nelson was set to marry Madeline Cates upon his return from Afghanistan. She moved to Bratt after he shipped out overseas, sleeping in his room. It made her feel closer to him.
The family last saw Travis on July 13 as he deployed for Afghanistan. Their last phone conversation was Monday as he requested items for a care package. That package still sits by the front door. It never made it to the mail.
Now the Nelsons, and Cates, await the return of Travis’ body from Afghanistan. His remains are scheduled to arrive at an Atmore funeral home mid-week. In the meantime, they work to comfort each other amongst family and friends.
And they’ve found great solace in the words of the community and complete strangers.
Beckie sat Friday afternoon in the middle her bed with a laptop, reading the scores of reader comments on a NorthEscambia.com story about Travis Nelson’s death.
“The support has been tremendous,” she said. “We want to thank everyone for their comments. When you read what they have say, especially the comments from complete strangers around the country, you know that what Travis did in 19 years was more than some people do in a lifetime.”
“He really was our hero.”
|From Gods marines godsmarines.com
Lance Cpl. Travis M. Nelson
Lance Cpl. Travis M. Nelson, 19, of Pace, Fla., died Aug. 18 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Lance Corporal Travis Nelson was killed while on patrol in Afghanistan. The 2010 Pace High School grad and was a rifleman with the First Battalion 6th Marine Regiment Second Marine Division II Marine Expeditionary Force had been in Afghanistan since March of 2011 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. According to a press release from Camp Lejune Nelson died while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Nelson, who celebrated his birthday two weeks ago, had this quote on his Facebook page under his philosophy. "I'll carry this flag to the grave if I must. Cause it's a flag I love and a flag that I trust." Former Pace Principal Frank Lay, who was Nelson's principal, remembered when Nelson first entered Pace High School as a freshman. "Travis was born to be a warrior," Lay said. "He was not hostile or angry but he came into school and wanted to be a part of the ROTC and later a Marine. "He was very much aligned with our ROTC program and was a Patriot's Patriot."
Nelson joined the U.S. Marine Corps in Sept. of 2010 and was promoted to Lance Corporal on June 1 of this year. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He was engaged to be married after returning from Afghanistan to his fiancee Madeline Raye Cates. Nelson set himself apart at Pace very early on according to Lay. "His gaze was focused on becoming a Marine," Lay recalled. "There are not a lot of kids at that age that are that sure of themselves. Travis had a focus and a goal and he set out to get it. "I hold him in very high regard because he was a first class individual and should serve as a reminder to all of us that freedom is not free. I was very humbled to be involved in his life."
|From North Escambia northescambia.com 09/08/13:
Young Marines Honor The Memory Of LCpl Travis M. Nelson
September 8, 2013
A young Travis Nelson of Bratt grew up in a military family and had two things on his mind — fishing and growing up to join the military.
He lived that dream, spending many days at his favorite fishing spots. At 14, he joined the Young Marines of Pensacola. By age 19, he had made it from Bratt to the front lines in Afghanistan as a United States Marine. It was there in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, that LCpl Travis M. Nelson lost his life in August 2011 defending the freedom of his family, friends and the America he loved so much.
Saturday, the Young Marines of Pensacola gathered at the LCpl Travis M. Nelson Park on Highway 4 in Bratt, near Nelson’s childhood home, to honor one of their own that paid the ultimate price.
The Young Marines, boys and girls ages 8 to 18, stood silently at attention as a wreath was placed at the park’s memorial to Nelson. Then they posed for a photo, the Young Marines and the memorial to a fallen Marine.
|Fallen Marine’s body returns home
By Thyrie Bland
Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal
PENSACOLA, Fla. — When the rain began to pour, many of the people lining Navy Boulevard ran for cover, but not Glenda Conrady.
Dressed in a red T-shirt, ball cap, white capri pants and gym shoes, Conrady stood motionless holding four American flags in her hands.
She was among the more than 50 people who showed up Aug. 24 to pay their respects to Marine Lance Cpl. Travis Nelson, 19. The Pace High School graduate was shot to death Aug. 18 while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan.
“A little rain was not a big deal,” said Conrady, 55, of Pensacola. “That’s how important it is to be here supporting the families — the men and women in the military. I’m proud to stand here in the rain.”
Nelson’s body arrived at 2 p.m. at Naval Air Station Pensacola, where his family waited. A long motorcade that included the Patriot Guard Riders, deputies and state troopers escorted the hearse from NAS to Petty-Eastside Funeral Home in Atmore, Ala.
Conrady wore a T-shirt that she made to honor Nelson. Nelson’s name is on the front of the shirt and a quote from his Facebook page is on the back.
The shirt read: “I’ll carry this flag to the grave if I must ‘cause it’s the flag that I love and a flag that I trust.”
The crowd began to gather at Navy Boulevard and Interbay Avenue, which is near the main entrance of NAS Pensacola, at about 1:30 p.m.
Some were former military members. Others have children and spouses in the military. The rest had no direct ties to the military.
Conrady’s husband, Kevin, 54, is a retired Navy warrant officer. Her son, Hank, 21, is in the Navy. Conrady said she does not worry about what will happen if her son is deployed.
“That’s why they join — to serve their country,” she said. “It’s an honor to serve their country.”
It was 92 degrees when the crowd started to arrive on Navy Boulevard. It wasn’t long before a dark cloud loomed in the sky. Thunder and lightning soon followed.
Sometime after 2:30 p.m., a downpour hit. Some people scurried under a building’s overhang and others gathered under umbrellas. By the time the procession began to roll along Navy Boulevard shortly before 3 p.m., the rain had stopped.
Most of the people gathered held up American flags as the fleet of motorcycles and marked law enforcement vehicles passed them. Others saluted.
Judith Seward, 56, of Pensacola held a large flag that used to fly outside her home.
“I don’t know his family, but it’s the least I could do,” she said. “I’m honored to be out here waving my flag for him and paying my respects.”
Bill Weeks, 55, was among several members of the J.R. Spears Marine Corps League who came to honor Nelson.
Weeks’ son, William, 24, leaves for his second tour in Afghanistan on Sept. 17.
“All Marines are brothers,” he said. “I realize it could be my son. My wife couldn’t come ... because of that.”
|Honoring The Life Of Lance Corporal Travis M. Nelson, Usmc
By Rep. Jeff Miller
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the United States Congress, it is with great respect and honor that I rise today to recognize the life of Northwest Florida's beloved Lance Corporal Travis M. Nelson.Lance Corporal Nelson succumbed to wounds sustained in combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on August 18, 2011. At the time, he was assigned as a rifleman with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2d Marine Division, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.Born in Orlando, Florida on August 5, 1992, Lance Corporal Nelson was a true American patriot. Drawn to military service at an early age, with the support of his family, he joined the Young Marines of Pensacola at 14. He later participated in the Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Pace High School, where he graduated from in 2010. He then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, and upon completion of basic training in January 2011, Lance Corporal Nelson chose to serve in the infantry. He knew of the challenging role; however, he felt that the job should not be left for someone else. His decision to join the Marine Corps is a true testament to his character's strength and selflessness.Lance Corporal Nelson was a beloved member of his community, remembered as an athlete, an avid fisherman, and a friend by those who knew him. He is survived by his parents, Scott and Beckie; his sisters, Anna and Jenna; his brother, Daniel; and his fiancee, Madeline Cates.Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the United States Congress, I am privileged to honor the life of Lance Corporal Travis Nelson for his selfless service and sacrifice in defense of our nation. My wife Vicki and I offer our prayers for his entire family. He will be truly missed by all.
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