Bratt Park Renamed For Fallen Marine

November 9, 2011

LCpl Travis Nelson left behind a short, simple note just in case he did return from the battlefield in Afghanistan.

“Dear friends and family, if you are reading this, I didn’t get to come home. I love each and every one of you. I have no regrets, I died for a meaningful cause.”

Nelson was killed August 18 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  It was just two weeks after his 19th birthday and only about a month after he arrived in Afghanistan.

Family, friends, community leaders and government officials including Congressman Jeff Miller gathered Tuesday afternoon at a new county park on Highway 4 in Bratt to unveil a monument in his honor and official dedicate the park as the Travis M. Nelson Park. As a young boy, Nelson grew up in house just two doors down from the site of the park.

For a photo gallery from the event, click here.

“He played right on these very grounds,” Scott Nelson said standing in the park named for his son. “He’d shoot his BB gun, ride his go cart.”

“He had the biggest go cart in all of Bratt,” his mother, Beckie Nelson, said.

“”I think it’s great. Even for our family to see for years to come. And our children, our grandchildren, I think it’s fantastic,” Scott Nelson said. “It’s an honor… a big honor,” Beckie Nelson added.

“Indeed we are free, but our freedom is far from being free. I challenge you to take advantage of this very special place the LCpl. Travis Nelson Park and each time you come and look at this monument, remember the sacrifice that not only Travis made for you, but the sacrifice his family will make each day of their life from this moment forward,” said longtime family friend Janet Little Cooper.

Pictured above: The family of Lance Cpl. Travel Nelson react Tuesday afternoon to the unveiling of a monument in his honor at the Travis M. Nelson Park on on West Highway 4. Pictured: (L-R) Nelson’s fiancee Madeline Cates, Louise Nelson, sister Anna Nelson, and parents Scott and Beckie Nelson. photo, click to enlarge.


18 Responses to “Bratt Park Renamed For Fallen Marine”

  1. JIM W on November 10th, 2011 4:04 pm

    I know the family’s hearts are still aching but rest with the comfort that he is in a better place! God Bless our troops and thanks to all who made this memorial possible. I did not know him but I too have served in war and there is nothing pretty about it. I would like to leave you with this statement to always remember in life.
    “Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American G.I.”

  2. J, Gary Smith on November 10th, 2011 2:47 pm

    We’ll see Travis again when we go home. May God comfort Scott, Beckie, Anna and the rest of the family and friends of this true American Hero!!

  3. Army Wife on November 10th, 2011 1:50 pm

    This is so very touching to honor Travis in this way. I didn’t know Travis and I don’t know his family but my heart is so heavy for them. My heart breaks for Madeline. Myself being a Army wife my husband has prepared me for many things but one I do not think you will ever be prepared for is to lose your soul mate. Please know Madeline I think about you daily and I’m keeping you in my prayers.

  4. Genna Hardy on November 10th, 2011 1:02 pm

    I didn’t know Travis other than seeing him in Young Marines, but from what I saw he was a fine, upstanding young man. I am sad that he is gone and my prayers will remain with his family and friends, but he died in an honorable way and I couldn’t be more proud. May his memory serve as an encouragement to others and help us to remember just what the men and women of our country are serving for.

  5. mercyme on November 9th, 2011 8:23 pm

    Having lived here all my life, I can say with certainty that Bratt, FL, is a little town with a huge heart. God bless all Nelson family and friends. May people enjoying the park always ask “Who is LCpl Travis Nelson? Please tell me why this park is named for this famous American.” Long live his memory.

  6. Kiersten Sharpless on November 9th, 2011 1:42 pm

    Hey Nelson,

    I am so glad that I got to have you apart of my life. You were a GREAT Drill Instructor and you helped me stay on the right track and you helped me out of things you knew I shouldn’t do. I Love You and you will forever be in my heart. I am follwing in your footsteps. I will greatly miss you and I know that your family will to. I went to your memorial dedication. I AWWESOME as Gunny Davis would say!! I can’t wait till I can join you one day in Heaven. I Love You and keep Heaven safe while your up there Soldier.


  7. Elizabeth on November 9th, 2011 12:58 pm

    It was hard 2 let hem go. I now i been there.I cry when my granddad die.

  8. Patti Adkinson on November 9th, 2011 11:01 am

    I just had to comment. Your family has been in my heart and prayers since the day the news hit about this sad sad event. With so much bad in the world it is such a blessing to know that a young man risked his life with his family and his fiance, and his future family for me and all my fellow americans. The pictures show the utmost love from his family and you can actually feel the emotion. Imagine the number of people like him we could produce as parents if we all could show our children the love and support he no doubt recieved. Please know that you are in my prayers and I feel so very blessed to have been one of the people that your son was fighting for. To his sister, I lost my brother in 2003. The pain never will go away but will ease in time and you will be able to start appreciating the fun happy memories again. Remember that everything is in gods plan. I am sure he has great things in store for you…

  9. Chuck Brewer on November 9th, 2011 8:53 am

    Part of the Marine Corp Hyme says” They will find the streets are guarded By United States Marines.” Semper Fi my brother! May God bless
    and keep your family safe in this time of loss! May we all be reunited in heaven to serve yet again my brother!

  10. Lifendason on November 9th, 2011 8:34 am

    Thank you Travis Nelson for your supreme sacrifice. This country needs more men with the back bone that you carried to Afghanistan. May God bless your family and may the park be a reminder to all who visit that there is a price for freedom.

  11. Reader on November 9th, 2011 8:30 am

    Wow. The emotion in the photos are unreal. Everyone should look at the photo gallery. The picture the girls comforting themselves above just brings tears to my eyes.

  12. Ross Calloway on November 9th, 2011 8:23 am

    There are no words to describe the hole in the hearts of Travis’s parents that stand out in these pictures when I look at them. My prayers are with you Scott and Becky. You raised a good man.

  13. Scobie Wilcoxon on November 9th, 2011 6:44 am

    A very fitting tribute. I’m sorry I had to miss due to work obligations. Godspeed to the Nelson family.

  14. Stacey on November 8th, 2011 7:57 pm

    Awesome! Thank you for your service Travis!

  15. Ginger Slanker on November 8th, 2011 7:23 pm

    I am touched to see such a honorable tribute for our fallen hero soldier. As I stood on highway 29 & W ST that rainy day…tears streamed down my face as i stood sadly at attention with my American flag and saluted you Travis on your journey towards your home. This moment will be forever etched in my heart ,mind, & soul. Thank you Travis for your sacrifice and SEMPER FI. God bless your family always.

  16. Jim Salisbury on November 8th, 2011 6:35 pm

    Words can not discribe the love and respect that I witnessed today……

  17. Mickey Powell on November 8th, 2011 6:02 pm

    There is a special feeling when people come together. That happened today at 1400 hrs in a little comunity called Bratt Fl.
    To you LCpl Travis M. Nelson from a veteran I salute you young man. I will never forget these last three months. I never knew you but I do know you. You will be in our hearts for as long as it beats. I’ll come to see your presents for as long as I live.
    You served well. Rest In Peace Young Man.

    Mickey Powell

  18. Becky Strobaugh on November 8th, 2011 4:04 pm

    A fitting tribute for an exceptional young man. May we always honor the sacrifices for our country, individually and collectively. Travis, you will certainly be remembered.

    My thoughts and prayers with you, Scott, Beckie, Anna and your family


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