I have written often in the past of 1st LT Rob Seidel, West Point Class of 2004, who gave his life serving in Iraq. Rob's family and friends have found many moving and creative ways to keep his memory and his spirit alive. The Nelson family of Thornton, Colorado recently added their own unique contribution to Rob's legacy by naming their son after Rob and two other soldiers who served with Chris Nelson in Iraq.
Here is the gist of the story, as reported by Denver's Channel 9:
"Chris Nelson, was serving with the US Army. His son's story started on May 18, 2006.
'I'll never forget. It's burned into my memory forever,' Nelson said.
He was scheduled to drive a Humvee during the day's mission. Onboard were two of his closest friends, PFC Nicholas Cournoyer and Sgt. Lonnie Allen, Jr., who went by 'Allen.' Nelson's commanding officer, First Lt. Robert Seidel, offered to give Nelson the day off because he'd been up early performing maintenance on the vehicle.
Nelson was safely back in his barracks when the Humvee hit an improvised explosive device, an IED. Five were killed, including Cournoyer, Allan and Seidel.
'It was a horrific day and I'll never forget it,' said Nelson.
He was determined to honor a plea from the fallen soldier's parents.
'They asked us, don't forget. Do not forget. Please,' recalled Nelson.
Nicholas Robert Allen Nelson is their namesake and a promise kept.
'We're keeping their sons' names alive,' said Nelson.
'They were everything to my husband,' Tiffany Nelson said. 'I knew that they would always live in his heart if we had a boy named after them.'"
For the full story and video clip, click on the link below:
Link to 9News Article