North Santa Rosa

Scholarship Fund in Honor of Lance Cpl Travis Nelson

The legacy of Lance Cpl. Travis Michael Nelson will live on through the lives of other young marines and the lives of his neighbors in Bratt, as his family plans to award an annual college scholarship  and place a monument in a public park in his honor.

LCpl. Nelson, 19, was shot and killed by enemy fire Aug. 18 while on patrol in Marjah, Afghanistan, only 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., according to the Department of Defense.

The young Marine’s parents, Beckie and Scott Nelson of Bratt, buried their son last Friday in Atmore’s Oak Hill Cemetery as hundreds of people paid their final respects and showed their appreciation to the family for Nelson’s service to his country.

“The support of the community has been remarkable to say the least,” Scott Nelson said following his son’s funeral Aug. 26. “Words really cannot express how we felt from the response to Travis’ death and funeral.”

Nelson said the community support has shown that Americans still have a heart and patriotism for the country and her people.

“Travis would have been proud to know he gave his life and the people came together as they did to show their respect,” Nelson said. “It’s nice to know  that we haven’t given up on what our country was founded on – God, love, patriotism, honor, respect and the old-fashioned neighbor.”

From the gates of the Naval Air Station in Pensacola last Wednesday when LCpl. Nelson’s body arrived, to the streets of Atmore following his funeral last Friday, thousands upon thousands of people, from all ages and walks of life, lined the streets to honor the fallen marine.

As a tribute to their son and the sacrifices he made to serve his country, the Nelsons are creating a college scholarship fund to be awarded to one or two outstanding seniors involved in either the Northview or Pace High School ROTC program or in the Young Marines of Pensacola.

“Both of these organizations were such a big part of Travis’ life and were the beginning of his commitment to serve his country,” Beckie Nelson said. “We are proud of Travis and know that he would want to share in the excitement of other young men and women as they prepare for a career in military service.”

For the first year, the Nelsons plan to award a $500 scholarship to a senior ROTC member from NHS or PHS or Young Marine with the highest GPA (grade point average), who exemplifies community involvement and service and commitment to their country through military service.

“We think this is the best way to honor Travis and his life,” Mrs. Nelson said. “He loved his country and we know he died doing what he loved.”

Mrs. Nelson said she hopes the scholarship fund will eventually be able to offer at least two scholarships a year for up to a $1,000 to a senior ROTC member from both NHS and PHS.

In addition to the scholarship fund, the Nelson’s are seeking approval from Escambia County (Fla.) officials to place a monument in honor of their son at the county-funded and maintained park located on Highway 4 in Bratt, just two doors down from Nelson’s childhood home.

“We just thought it would be fitting to have something there to remember him by,”  Mrs. Nelson said. “This is where he grew up and he spent many hours and days out here playing before the park was built. This community (Bratt) was such a big part of his life and played a part in the man he became.”

The Nelsons have set up an account at Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union to accept donations for the college scholarships and monument in the park.

“I will learn from my son and this community and strive to be a better American and neighbor,” Scott Nelson said in a published letter of thanks. “Travis, you will always be your beautiful mom’s and my hero. We will miss you to the point we cannot describe but will join you, pawpaw, papa and the other heroes in heaven. My prayers go out to the rest of the troops, its time we bring these men and women home. God Bless America.”

If you would like to contribute, deposits can be made at any Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union branch in LCpl. Travis Nelson’s name.

Make checks out to:
LCpl. Travis Nelson Memorial/Scholarship Fund

Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union
220 E. Nine Mile Road
Pensacola, FL 32534

Nelson Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 601
Century, Florida 32535

special to NSR News by Janet Little Cooper

Posted by on Sep 3 2011. Filed under Happenings, Military. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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