Thursday, May 28, 2009

U.S. Navy Commander Tom Nelson (Ret) ... rich Virginia history

Commander Tom Nelson (Ret), U.S. Naval Reserves

The keynote speaker at Monday's Memorial Day ceremony in Gypsy Hill Park was Tom Nelson, someone well known to those in the SWAC area. Many know his son is active duty with the U.S. Army and has been to Iraq.

Few know Tom is a military veteran and has a rich Virginia background going back to the Revolutionary War. His fourth great-grandfather, Thomas Nelson, Jr., was a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, governor of Virginia after Thomas Jefferson, and Brigadier General of the Virginia Militia defeating Cornwallis at Yorktown on October 19, 1781. Tom often reenacts in Williamsburg, Yorktown, and other historical events, helping to bring American history to life dressed as Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Tom was born in Charlottesville, Va. He graduated from LaGrange College in Georgia and the U.S. Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Floria.

He and his wife, Poppet, live in Middlebrook in southern Augusta County. They have three grown children ... Major Tom Nelson, U.S. Army, Elizabeth of Purceville, and Jennifer living in Wales ... and have five grandchildren.

A retired U.S. Naval Air Reserves Commander with 27 years service, including six years active duty with one tour in Viet Nam, Tom went on to spend many years in public service with the U.S. Government until his retirment in 2002 from the Department of Defense.

His assignments included the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Office of the Secretary Defense (OSD), and the National Ground Intelligence Agency (NGIC). He has extensive travels throughout the world including Western and Eastern Europe, Far East, and a number of Middle East countries including Iraq. Noteworthy is his work with weapons of mass destruction (WMD) inspections.

He has worked for government contractors Battelle, BAE System, and now Knowledge Continuity Consultants (KCC) at NGIC.

He continues to be active as a member of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), the Page-Nelson Society of Virginia, the Middlebrook Ruritan Club, Kairos Prison Ministry, and as a chaplain in the Industrial Commercial Ministries (ICM).

His past activities include Civil Air Patrol, Episcopal church vestryman, Rotary club, the Historic Commission of Prince William County, and a Boy Scout leader.

Tom and Poppet Nelson attend Oak Hill Baptist Church in Newport, and are the owners/operators of the Middlebrook General Store.

On Memorial Day, Tom remembered American military members who had lost their lives in wars throughout the years.

1 comment:

Augusta Conservative said...

I know Tom Nelson personally, he's a good man. To talk to him you wouldn't know that he has done so much. He carries himself well and has always been kind, I am proud to count him as a friend. Keep up the great work Tom.