A memorial service for Nelson David Trent, 37, will be held on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, at 2 p.m. at Stewart Family Funeral Home Chapel. The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 p.m., one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery.
Nelson was born April 5, 1975, in Tyler. He was raised in Whitehouse and graduated from Whitehouse High School in 1993.
Nelson's distinguished military career began when he enlisted in the United States Army on March 23, 1999, as a Signal Support Systems Specialist. His first duty assignment was in Fort Hood. During his time there, he deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and 2005, serving as the Communication Sergeant and Information Management Officer. On June 1, 2006, Nelson moved to Tyler and enlisted into the Texas Army National Guard to continue his service with 3-144 Infantry. Shortly thereafter, Nelson transferred to the 136th Military Police Battalion to serve as an observation patrol in support of the Texas Border Security Mission through 2008. Following this homeland security mission, Nelson was promoted to staff sergeant and transferred to the 2-136th Regimen as the Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course Senior Group leader as a result of his outstanding leadership skills.
In 2010, Nelson continued his faithful service after being accepted in the Active Guard and Reserve program as the Communications NCO with the 6th Civil Support Team for six months before being transferred once again to a position of greater responsibility as the Senior Communications NCO with Joint Task Force 71 in Austin. While with the Joint Task Force 71, Nelson was recognized as the brigade NCO of the Year, competing at the state level in the 2011 competition. On May 31, 2012, Nelson accepted a position with the 56th IBCT to deploy to Afghanistan in support of the Security Force Assistance Team Mission.
Nelson's awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, six Army commendation Medals, three Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, four Iraq Campaign Medals with Bronze Service Star, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Army Service Ribbon, two Overseas Service Ribbons, the NATO Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Driver and Mechanic Badge with Wheeled Vehicle Clasp, the Expert Marksmanship Qualification Badge, the Texas Lone Star Distinguished Service Medal, The Texas Purple Heart, the Adjutant General's Individual Award and the Texas Humanitarian Service Ribbon.
Nelson is survived by his wife, April; son, David; daughter, Camryn; parents, Nelson and Fritzi; sister, Tracey Trent; and brother, Brian Trent.
Nelson will always be remembered as a loving husband, a devoted father and exemplary American soldier.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in honor of Nelson D. Trent may be made by visiting www.gofundme.com/nelsondtrent, or you may give to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kan., 66675.
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on Dec. 22, 2012