Fund honors Nelson

Published 9:57 pm Friday, September 2, 2011

The family of a U.S. Marine killed last month in Afghanistan and laid to rest in Atmore is creating a scholarship fund in his memory.

Scott and Beckie Nelson are also hoping to establish a memorial for their son Travis in Bratt, Fla., where he grew up.

The scholarship will be awarded to one or two outstanding seniors involved with the Northview or Pace high school ROTC programs or the Young Marines of Pensacola.

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“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, 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.

The Nelsons are also hoping to get approval from Escambia County, Fla., officials to place a monument honoring their son at a county-funded park in Bratt, just two doors down from his childhood home on Highway 4.

“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.”

Donations can be made at any Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union branch (Brewton, Atmore, Gulf Breeze, Milton, or Pensacola locations – Nine Mile Road, Chemstrand Road, Government Street, Creighton Road, L Street and Blue Angel Parkway). The account name is the LCpl. Travis Nelson Memorial/Scholarship Fund.

“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.”