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LCPL Travis Nelson

This new journey in our life is not easy.  Remembering every moment of our life with Travis, I am afraid that I will forget something that I want to cherish.  I have to ask God for strength on a daily basis in order to move forward.

Travis Michael Nelson was one-of-a-kind. He was a leader and completely fearless. His excitement and determination in life was contagious. Travis knew that it was the simple things in life that mattered most.  As he watched the events of 9/11, he vowed to protect his country when he grew up.

I cannot explain the emotions that we felt on Graduation Day at Paris Island.  Travis barely eighteen years old had instilled so much pride in our lives. He checked into First Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejuene, N.C. Six months later July 13th, 2011 I watched through tear filled eyes as he hugged me and his little sister one more time, picked up his bags, boarding the bus that would transport his Company to their place of departure for Marjah, Afghanistan.  Like it was his first day of school this Band of Brothers steady laughing and making jokes - brothers that would gladly lay their life down for one another.

Our son, now LCpl. Travis M. Nelson was killed Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011 in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, five weeks after being deployed as an infantry rifleman with the First Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejuene, N.C. and only 13 days after celebrating his 19th birthday on foreign soil.

Because of Travis’ courage and commitment in life and to his country - our country, he is an American Hero deserving of such an honor, but at the same time this stoic Marine Corporal remains our young son, brother, fiancé, grandson, uncle, and friend so many will always grieve for. We as a country need to remember that our freedom is not free.   Travis is not the first and will not be the last young life lost while fighting for the freedoms we as a country take for granted. Let’s not forget the young men and women’s courage and commitment to defend our great country and the families and friends left behind.

Beckie Nelson, Gold Star Mother of a real American Hero

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