The day Mrs. Alma Nelson has long awaited is coming. On Jan. 12, her son, Specialist Travis Nelson, will be coming home to Bridge City after spending a week at Fort Carson, Colo. Specialist Nelson has been in Baghdad, Iraq, for the last 15 months. Nelson is a 2005 graduate of Bridge City High School.

He serves as a diesel mechanic with F Company of the 12th Infantry Battalion, 2nd Division. His last Rest and Recreation (R&R) was in 2006 when he was at home for Christmas. He had to return home in March 2007 after the death of his father, Rick Nelson, who was a retired Pinehurst police officer.

Specialist Nelson has another year to serve on his enlistment.

"He is considering a career in the military and whatever he decides, we will be behind him", Mrs. Nelson says. She adds, "His father, Rick, stated that he sometime wished that he had considered a military career."

The Nelson family has a tradition of military service. Travis is the third generation of his family to serve in the armed services in three different conflicts. His father, Rick Nelson, was a veteran of the U. S. Air Force and served in Viet Nam. Rick Nelson’s father, D. R. Nelson, served in the U. S. Army Air Force in the South Pacific Theater in World War II.

Nelson’s maternal grandfather, Leonard Richardson, served with the U. S. Army in the European Theater as a combat medic. "We are very proud of our family’s military history," Mrs. Nelson says.

His airplane is due to arrive at the airport at 1:49 p. m. As a surprise to Travis he will be escorted from the airport to his home by the Patriot Guard. The route will follow Highway 73 across the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge into Bridge City on Texas Avenue to Roundbunch to the Nelson home on Ridgewood Street. It would be a meaningful show of support to Travis and his family for Texas Avenue to be lined with his fellow Bridge City citizens. The Nelson family belongs to the First Church of the Nazarene in Orange, noted for its support of American military veterans and active members. The church has pledged a strong show of support. A special message to Travis from his family is: "your family is very proud of you and we want you to get the honor your Dad did not get when he returned from Viet Nam. This would make him proud."

Following the parade there will be a reception at the Nelson home. "The invitation is open because we would especially like to meet Travis’ friends that we have not had the opportunity to meet thus far", Mrs. Nelson says.

In addition to Travis’ mother, Alma, his family includes his sister, Kari, his brother, Paul Nelson and his wife Maranda, and Travis’ niece Kellynn Nelson. His grandparents are Leonard and Bonnie Richardson of Bridge City. Travis also has an aunt, Sheila Breaux of Carenco, La., and two uncles, Wayne Richardson and his wife, Libby, of Clear Lake, and Jimmy Richardson of Bridge City.