Roy Lane Nelson
First Lieutenant
Army of the United States
San Antonio, Texas
July 24, 1947 to April 23, 1971
ROY L NELSON is on the Wall at Panel W3, Line 5

Roy L Nelson
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22 October 2001

My husband, Roy Lane Nelson, was a very dedicated soldier. He had planned to make the Army his career. He gave his life in the service of his country, over 30 years ago. All of us who loved him, still and always will miss him. I feel he would be very proud of the manner in which his family has continued on without him. We have all done our best to honor his memory and sacrifice. I have been married to my second husband, Fred L. Serene, Jr., for 28 years. Fred is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel. Roy's daughter, Shannon Lee Nelson, was 3 months old when her father died. She was adopted by Fred at age 12. Fred and I had a second daughter, Jennifer. Both daughters are grown and have families of their own. We have had a very good life. Roy would be so pleased to know that his daughter, Shannon, has grown up to be a strong and productive adult and that he is the grandfather of two beautiful little boys. Family was always very important to Roy. We have blended the Lowes, Nelsons and Serenes into one family. Roy and his memory will always be a part of this large family.

Roy's college alma mater was The University of Texas at Austin. Each May, a ceremonial scabbard and blade is presented to an outstanding Army ROTC cadet, newly commissioned, at The University of Texas. This is the lLT Roy L. Nelson Award. I present this award. I feel that Roy would be proud of this tribute. He was a very humble, even shy, individual but I know that he would approve of this yearly presentation, in his name.

Life has gone on for our family, since Roy's death. Life always goes on. What matters is what you make of that life. Roy's wish, voiced to me before he left for Vietnam, was for Shannon and I to have a rich, happy, fulfilling life, should he not survive. We have done that. Our special love and ability to talk about everything helped make my future without him possible. His love has always been a part of my life and has enabled me to be capable of loving again. After all these years, I can still visualize his sweet face in my mind's eye, 23 and forever handsome. He would be 54 now, but, of course, I can only see him as 23. The photo I have included was taken at age 23.

Our family will miss Roy forever. However, we do not dwell in the past. Roy would not want that. Although we do not dwell in the past, we do remember him. We now all have sweet and tender memories and can talk about him, smile and even laugh at the funny family stories that include him.

Although Roy died almost 31 years ago, he will forever be a part of all whose lives he touched. He is permanently etched on our hearts and walks hand in hand with our very souls.

His loving wife,
Toni L. Serene

Roy L Nelson
Five generations of 1LT Roy Lane Nelson's family, August 2013

22 October 2001

I was only a tiny infant when my father left for Vietnam, so I do not remember his face. However, I have always felt his spirit, as though he were my guardian angel, seeing me through many trials and tribulations as well as the joyous moments of my life. I know he has watched me grow up, and is now enjoying his very active grandsons' lives. We are a very patriotic family, and I personally feel that his sacrifice made the world better for the rest of us. I was blessed with two wonderful men to call "Daddy" and though Daddy Roy's loss was and is heartbreaking, I am lucky to have been raised and loved by another equally as great, LT COL Fred L. Serene, Jr.

His daughter,
Shannon L. Roblyer

07 May 2007

Lieutenant Nelson was an above average student and an extremely conscientious, dedicated and involved member of the cadet corps at the University of Texas at Austin. He planned to make the Army his career. Lieutenant Nelson was born on July 24, 1947, in Lawton, Oklahoma, the son of Hermon S. Nelson, a career Army noncommissioned officer, and Althea Nelson. Upon graduation from Thomas Jefferson High School, San Antonio, Texas, in 1965, he enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin. He married the former Toni L. Lowe on August 29, 1969, in San Antonio, Texas. Lieutenant Nelson graduated in January of 1970 with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Industrial Management and was commissioned as an Infantry Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army on January 24, 1970, upon completion of the Army ROTC program. After commissioning, he left immediately for the Infantry Officers' Basic Course, Fort Benning, Georgia. After completing this training he was assigned as Assistant Administrative Officer and Custodian of Classified Documents for the Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Committee, U.S. Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, GA. On February 12, 1971 he was deployed to the Republic of Vietnam and assigned as a Platoon Leader, Company A, 1st Battalion, 52nd Infantry, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal), located at Chu Lai, Quang Ngai Province. Lieutenant Nelson was killed in action on April 23, 1971. He received the Bronze Star with "V" Device, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantryman's Badge. His widow, Toni L. Nelson; daughter, Shannon; his parents, and brother Gary D. Nelson survived Lieutenant Nelson at the time of his death.

From an Assistant Professor of Military Science at UT
and an acquaintance of his then wife,
Captain Rick Peloquin

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