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Interview with Berimer Nelson, May 2, 2003 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Title:
Interview with Berimer Nelson, May 2, 2003
Date:
May 2, 2003
Description:
Pastor Nelson recounts how he came to enlist in the Marine Corps and retire after twenty years of service and being badly wounded in Vietnam. It was in his retirement that he heard the call to become a pastor. Despite his lack of formal religious training Pastor Nelson is greatly valued at his church for his plain, from-the-heart sermons.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee:  Nelson, Berimer Interviewer:  Zarbock, Paul Date of Interview:  5/2/2003 Series:  Military Length  44 minutes

 

Zarbock: Good morning. My name is Paul Zarbock. I'm a staff member with the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and the William Madison Randall Library. This is part of the ongoing effort at UNCW to provide videotape coverage of military chaplains. Today we're at the home of Mr. Nelson, a retired Marine Corp. Master Sergeant. Pastor Nelson was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1936. A few years after birth, after his birth, he moved into a foster home with three other siblings and lived there until his graduation from high school. Pastor spent over 20 years in the Marine Corp serving in a variety of posts both in the United States and overseas. In 1998 he was certified to preach for the AME Church here in North Carolina. So I'm gonna start asking I'm gonna start asking the chaplain a few questions about his early military experience. Chaplain, why did you go into the service?

Nelson: I joined into to the military because I love my I my America. I love America and I and I believe in my country. And I love my and I love my country. It's been so good to me in my life. And so I, I, and I, and I wanted to serve I want to serve my country serve my country to protect my country, and also to protect the world. Uh.. that's my primary for wanting to go. So I love my America and I also love the people of the world.

Zarbock: Now Pastor you said in in your foster home where you lived for many years, how were you treated?

Nelson: My uh.. my foster uh.. take care of me very good. She treated me good. She she uh.., you know, she, she punch me when necessary. She punch when necessary. And she was a good guard... good uh.. a father and a good mother.

Zarbock: What advice did she give you?

Nelson: My uhm.. when my mother and my father [unintelligible], I, I, we want you to be the best you can be in the world. She said, "I want you to be United States. I said, "I want you to be a... be here in this country." She said, "I want you to be the best and serve __________. And serve the things that are right way." She said, "I want you to do," and she trained me and she trained me there. And necessary, she punched me with those things that I didn't apply. And uh.. but she always loved me. She loved me.

Zarbock: Did you say that going into the Marine Corp was easier than uh..?

Nelson: The Marine Corp was easier to me because of my discipline my very, very easy in Marine Corp. The hardest thing was when I was training by my mother and father. They would they didn't give me didn't give me slack. They had she she did the things that was necessary to to raise me.

Zarbock: Where did you do your Boot Camp Sir? Where did you do Boot Camp in the Marine Corp?

Nelson: Boot Boot Camp uh.. Parris [ph?] Island, in South Carolina.

Zarbock: Wasn't that tough?

Nelson: It was, it was tough, but it was the hardest thing was to get uh.. to be able to training uh.. their training is pretty rough. And uh.. doing those in those years uhm.. you and the Blacks learned into when they went to the Marine Corp. Sometimes they were kind of rough to you. But they was they was fair though, in they training you. Uh.. but I but the more I stayed in the Marine Corp after I was training in when in I trained in the Marine Corp, I even loved I even loved more in the United States than ever because you get a lot of history in on uh.. in uh.. there was history on United States of of the Marine Corp. They gave us history on that on history on everything. I learned so much about that and also it made me more proud of the United States and the Marine Corp. I was proud to be a Marine Corp, to be trained.

Zarbock: When you went into the Marine Corp at first, did you decide to make a career out of it?

Nelson: No, not really. I wanted to I thought I was gonna stay in just about four years. And then uh.. another then after four years I start to get out. And then another sergeant he talk me about, you, won't you stay in some more so that you're a good Marine.

Zarbock: What rank were you then?

Nelson: At at the time I was a uh.. PFC when I and uh.. and I stayed as a PFC for about when I got I was about E3 then, a Corporal when I when I went for when I joined the Marine Corp. And I joined for four more years. I stayed more, I think. I'm I'm confused right now.

Zarbock: Okay, I'm gonna jump ahead. You ended up in Vietnam. Is that correct?

Nelson: Yes Sir.

Zarbock: How long did you serve in Vietnam?

Nelson: I stayed one year in Vietnam uh.. 11 months and 11 months before I got wounded.

Zarbock: Where were you? What action were you in when you were wounded? Where were you located?

Nelson: I was I was uh.. in the Amphibious Tractor [ph?], Amphibious Tractors, they call them. And uh.. some people say, "Tanks." But I got wounded uh.. and got uh.. shot in my legs, in my left leg, and then some shrapnel. And I got I was shut off the uh.. of the uh.. tank, and then I was on the ground for about four years. And I figured out And uh.. when I when I came I I passed out. Then when I came when I uh.. when I waked up I took blood blood in my area here. My legs was bleeding and everything. So I took my belt off. I turned my to my belt and tied and to stop the blood. And then I went down in a hole. And then about four years later...

Zarbock: You mean four hours later?

Nelson: Excuse me.

Zarbock: Four hours?

Nelson: I was I was on ground, yeah, because we was uh.. everybody we have we was at a big fight, and they was moving. And uh.. then about four years later they came back to pick up the dead wounded on on the ground. And and they found me. And they said, "Here Sergeant, this is..." They picked me up and they called for the helicopter to then come down. They uh.. called the heli I'm sorry, the helicopter. And and they picked me up and took me to the uh.. the hospital. Then in in Vietnam, then also the next morning they they took me over to uh.. to Japan to another hospital in Japan. And then about two two days later, they said, "We're gonna put you you can't stay here." He said, "So we're gonna send you to America now." He said, "I'm gonna send you back to America so you go to another hospital up in Jamaica New York." And they took in the hospital for three months, up there for my legs and everything. And I got...

Zarbock: But you didn't get a medical discharge, did you?

Nelson: No, I did not get a medical. No didn't...

Zarbock: After your wounds you stayed in the Marine Corp.

Nelson: I stayed in the Marine Corp, and I stayed in uh.. in America. They wanted to know, did I wanna go out. I said, "No, I wanna do my..." I said, "I'll stay here." I wanna stay I wanna stay with them, in the United States Marine Corp if you will." And I kind of cried to them. I said, "Don't kick me out. Don't throw me out." So they said, "We'll work on that." And then they told me, he said, "You could stay in the Marine Corp." And I stayed until 19 1975, until June of 1975.

Zarbock: What was your total length of service?

Nelson: The whole the whole service in the military uh.. 21 years and six months.

Zarbock: You ended up, you were discharged as a Master Sergeant.

Nelson: I was a Master Sergeant. Yeah, I got promoted. Yeah I got yes Sir.

Zarbock: Would you do it again?

Nelson: Uh.. yes, yes, I would do it. I wanted to go now, wanted to go to uh.. Iraq now. That's one thing, you go at the time. But I know I become old now. But he said, "I I right now my guard said called me and says, if my the president and said, "The president of the United States or whoever said, go now. I want you to go." I said, "Yes Sir." And I put and I'll go right now. Uhm.. yes I love America. I love my country.

Zarbock: What did you do after your discharge from the military and where did you live?

Nelson: When I I was discharged I was in the Central Okinawa, and stayed for about a uh.. I stayed there for about a year and a half. And uh.. in Okinawa. And then also later on I was dis I was taken to I went uh... there's a place in Jamaica called not Jamaica, in uh.. I'm sorry. I'm kind of stuck sometimes. E Ekan [ph?], that's up there in in Virginia.

Zarbock: Was this...?

Nelson: Edico [ph?], Edico, in Virginia. I stayed there because uh.. and the reason why I was in Edico 'cause they I worked for in Washington I was up there in Washington DC for about a year. Then I got then they sent me to Edico.

Zarbock: Is this after you were discharged?

Nelson: When I I don't understand that.

Zarbock: When you left the Marine Corp.

Nelson: After Marine Corp?

Zarbock: Yeah.

Nelson: Oh after the Marine Corp.

Zarbock: What kind of work did you do after you left the Marine Corp?

Nelson: Okay after after I did first I went to school for about uh.. three years for uhm.. Camp Lejeune and uh.. Cape Fear Technical Institute. And then I stayed for years. Then I worked with then after I graduated. And then I went to and started for the state working with Veterans. I'm a Veteran's Veteran. Uh.. I was a disabled Veteran's...

Zarbock: A counselor?

Nelson: A counselor, yes Sir. I was...

Zarbock: Well I asked you off camera, when did, how did you get the call? Tell me that story again. You said you didn't like a big church.

Nelson: Correct.

Zarbock: Tell me that story.

Nelson: When I I was going to a large church here in in Wilmington, the Stevens AME Church. And it was an AME Church. And I was when my divorce my uh.. my wife, that's her church. And uh.. so I thought it would be best for me to leave that church since we're divorced now. And so I uh.. I start watching or looking for churches. And I was taken by eight or nine or ten churches. And then the Holy Spirit puts me to Brook took me uh.. sent me to uh.. to Rocky Point in in North Carolina. And I and I saw this church there, Saint Paul AME Church. And I stayed there. I went to the church and I and I it was a small church. It was about 50, 60 people. And the people so good people, real nice people. And they're excellent. The ministers there, the pastors of the church was excellent. And then I stayed there for about four years. I I used to go I go to church everyday, every church day during St. Paul Navy Church. Then I would sit in the back of the church all the time, and by myself, my my arms folded. And then I listened to the presence, that sermon was read about listened to the sermons, and the Holy Spirit was holding me. The Holy put the spirit into me.

And then about four years, I always then one day I started I I fell crying and crying and crying. And I got built up. I stood up and I went to my Pastor, in front of the church I said, "I want to preach. I want to go and preach to God. I wanna preach God." And God said, "I knew you was gonna do it. You're gonna I knew you was gonna be a minister. He grabbed me. He grabbed me and he said, "I gonna go ahead, go through those procedures." And and then afterwards uh.. I I uh.. I did my primary. I did my sermon, my first sermon. And and uh.. then I did my first sermon about about two months later. And then I went to uhm.. then I went to schools, a bunch of schools, and for about a year or two. And then I got ordained by uh.. I was ordained about couple years later. I was ordained as a as a minister. And and then that's what I do now. I do uh.. I I minister. I preach. I go to my church there and other churches I preach before I got a stroke.

Zarbock: But you said when you started to go to the small church at Rocky Point, you said the people were a little suspicious of you.

Nelson: That's right.

Zarbock: Tell me about that. Why were they suspicious?

Nelson: They I would when I come to church they just you know, they'd look at me. And you know, they was real nice people. Uhm.. uh.. they didn't get close to me uh.. that much. But I just stay in the back. And whatever time they wanted to do, anything they wanted to do at the church I did things. I just cleaned the toilets. I don't care what it was. I I cleaned the grass. And uh.. I took and then cleaned the house, and all that, cleaned the church, and do that stuff. And I I 'cause I and I did that about four years like that. They gave me a position. They gave me uh.. say as a Trustee of uh.. they gave me something. They gave me uh...

Zarbock: But you had to earn their trust.

Nelson: Yes, right, exactly. I had to earn yes, you're right. And uh.. after they believe after after they got used to me and then everything, they got closer and closer to me...(crew talk)

Zarbock: Where did you preach your first sermon?

Nelson: Oh, I did my my first preach I did my first sermon uh.. at St. Paul AME Church, St. Paul AME Church.

Zarbock: In Rocky Point.

Nelson: Rocky Point. And I did that was on a Saturday when I did my first sermon. And and uh.. a lot of I I before I did my sermon before I went up there I was I was studying for a whole week or two to writing my sermon, and and I started crying. I mean here I was crying, and and see I don't know I should be a minister. I said I told God to that. I said, "I don't know if I can be a minister."

Zarbock: So you had doubts.

Nelson: Had doubts. And and so I did my sermon I did write everything. I copied everything. And then on Saturday I I went I went up to my church, St. Paul AME Church in Rocky Point. And on the way up I40 I started crying to the church. Before I get on I40 I I said, "Lord, I can't do it. I can't do it." I was 'cause so but anyway, the Lord start talking to me. He said, "You go ahead. I'll take care of you." He said, "I'll take care of you." He said, "Don't worry about it." You'll get the word." He said, "Don't worry." So I went up from I40, then I went to Rocky Point. And then I went into uh.. when I walked to the church there I I went to the backside, and there was six ministers waiting for me. And and which said and I I was kind of scared a little bit. And then we all got to they put around me and they prayed. We prayed to God. We prayed and everything. And then get into the church there, got inside, sat down, and then about all the procedures and all this everything. And then they they presented me to the church, and said, "He's going"and I got up. I couldn't I couldn't see the people. It seem like God put something a globe over me. It's just like I couldn't see. I couldn't see anything. I could see just like a a grass, no. And and then I started I started then I started preaching. And couldn't I couldn't see I started preaching. I started preaching. (crying)

After I finished my sermon I sat down, and and the older minister, said, "Did you preach before?" I said, "Never preached in my life. He said, "Gee Whiz." And that was it. But God is God is a good God. He's good. Right now I work at as a I'm with the assistant, and I'm with the assistant pastor now, right now. I do have things that I we teach. So I teach and I preach. I teach right now. I teach the people. I preach, and I also anything they want to do. If there's anything they wanted to do, I start take care of my people. And I say, I don't I I'm here toGod says that I'm here to serve. I'm here to serve the people, not to be served. He does not want me to be a servant, but to serve other people. I'm not looking to not for me to be served. I like to wanna serve the people.

Zarbock: You're also a military chaplain aren't you?

Nelson: Uh.. no Sir. I was not a chaplain.

Zarbock: No I mean currently. Don't you wear don't you go to ceremonies?

Nelson: Oh yes, yes. I'm a uh.. just I'm a...

Zarbock: You were at the cemetery on Memorial Day.

Nelson: Yes Sir, okay.

Zarbock: Did you give a prayer?

Nelson: No. Could I could I show you something? (crew talk)

Zarbock: We're back on camera and you've got a cap. What does it say on the cap?

Nelson: Chapter 11 DAV.

Zarbock: And you are the chaplain for the Disabled American Veterans Post 11. Is that correct?

Nelson: Not a chaplain. No Sir, I'm not a chaplain. We have a we do have a chaplain.

Zarbock: Okay.

Nelson: I don't want _____________.(crew talk)

Zarbock: Turn your head so I can get a, turn it this way, (reads the cap) "Chapter 11, Wilmington, North Carolina, Disabled American Veterans." That's you. I wanna go back to your first sermon. After you delivered your first sermon, was the second one, the third one and the fourth one, did they become easier?

Nelson: Uh... yes, it's easier if you if you study. If you study uh.. you read and study and pray, yes it gets it gets easier. But it's never really easy. It's never really easy, but it helps it helps to to uh.. to read. You have to. As a minister you have to read. You have to study. You have to pray. You have to. And then it makes it a whole lot better. That's the that's what uh.. but it's not easy. It takes about sometimes it takes me all week to do a sermon. And and sometimes I uh.. sometimes I start writing my sermons, and while I'm writing my sermons I'm crying making my sermons. I'm crying. I can feel the Holy Spirit. God is telling you to tell the people. And and I used to work last time I did my uh.. sermon I worked on, on a Saturday in the morning. I worked on that sermon all the way up to Sunday morning until about 7 o'clock in the morning before I finished my sermon. And and I and uh.. then I took my showers. And I took my showers and I took my showers and everything, got ready and then I went to church. But uhm.. but then I did my sermons.

But a lot of times I sometimes I can't get the word in I don't know what to I don't to get the word onto at the very moment God gives me the word, what he wants me to preach, you know. And sometimes I thought I could sit down easy and write the words, I thought. But God said, "No, no, that's not I don't want that. This is what I want you to tell them." And then so I sit down there and do what I have to do. And it it turns out _______ all the time. It turns out okay.

Zarbock: I'm gonna turn to something that's not very pleasant. You were telling me off camera that you were driving to church on a Sunday and you began to have some problems. Tell me about that.

Nelson: When I when I uhm.. when I woke that morning on Sunday I could notice I I couldn't see too good. I couldn't figure I thought I was still sleeping, I thought. So I went I went to and I went I washed myself, cleaned up and took my showers and everything. And and then I put on my clothes and everything. And then I went if left the I left my apartment and I went to uh.. my car, and I went to church on uh.. I went to I40. I went to I40 to uh... and to to...

Zarbock: You're going to the church and...

Nelson: Church I I'm trying to remember the place. I went to I went to I40 to Rocky Point. And then I went to church. When I got into the back door of my house, of the church rather, and and I noticed it got I couldn't see more couldn't too much. And and then the the pastor just happened to be at the at the door at the time. He said, "What's wrong with you?" I said, "I can't see too good. I can't see." And he said he looked at me and everything. He said, "You gosaid, you need to be you need to sit down and take care of yourself. See nurse in the church here." I said, "No, I wanna go home." And I started crying. And said, "I'm going home." And had I had some documents to give him. And and I gave him the documents that I brought him also. But I went back in my car and I I drove.

I got in my car and I drove down back to I40. And I was driving about 10 miles an hour. I couldn't hardly see anything. And then when I got when I arrived in my apartment here uh.. I got outside my car. And then when I got out I fell down. And then it was another they was having another uh.. member uh.. a brother of the the church, they followed me. He followed me all the way to my house. I didn't know that. And he ran over to me. And his name is uh.. Mr. Brother Harris McIntyre [ph?]. He took care of me. He he took me to the hospital immediately in his house, into his car rather. I'm sorry. And he took me to the hospital, Cape Fear Hospital. And he took me to the hospital, and by the time I but when I got there I was already blind already. And he was blocking me. But anyway they stayed at Cape Fear Memorial uh.. for a whole month and a year a month and a a month and a half from March to April the the 17th. And then during that time the doctors worked on me and took care of me, and uhm.. but I then around towards in April's time, sometime the middle of April I could see better, a little better, little better, better. And I'd be able to speak uh.. I could speak. I couldn't speak too well though. I couldn't speak at all then. But I could see better though. And then another minister named he _____ another minister, a friend of mine. And his name is uh.. Mr. Carl McIntyre, Reverend Reverend Carl McIntyre who lived in Rocky Point. He said he took care of me in his house from uh.. April until August, take care of his house. He took care of his house, and uh.. he and I both uh.. worked with the state. He worked for the Air Force and I was a Marine Corp. But also we worked for the state also at the same so he said, I'm gonna take care of you." The doctor said you gotta have somebody to take care of you. So he said, "I'll take care of you." He took me in his house for until August until August. And after August the 1st, which was on a Sunday too, then he said, "We're gonna take you home now." Then he got a he said, "You still need to take care of you. You still need somebody to take care of you here in this in this house by yourself."

And he talked about a lady he's a uh.. another minister. The lady Evagalis. And she took care of me from 7 o'clock in the morning to 10 o'clock everyday except for Saturdays and Sunday. He took come here, washed all my he washed. He took me to the doctors. He took to the uh.. you know, buy food and stuff. She did every cleaned my house and everything else. And then at the end of November I was better. She said, she left me, she leave for me. And and but now then also in July, end of July, 4th of July, oh, oh the doctor says, "You okay now. You all better now." "You're not perfect," she said. He said, "Do the things like He said do the things like eat the way you eat and everything else. Get your rest and everything, uh.. you know. And then and uh.. then he gave me I got I take so much medicines right now. I'm taking medicine everyday. In the morning I take. But I think God for that.

And I also thank God for the I thank God for the military. I thank God for uh.. for the people who took care of me. I could not thank them for what they did for me. It's nothing I did. And sometimes I ask God, I said, "Why do you do that? Why you take care of me so much?" But and and 'cause then I learned that God loves me. He loves everybody 'cause I did a lot of things. I did maybe I should tell you that, but sometimes I do things. I did things in my life. And I did good things. But he said, "God." And I prayed him and asked him to forgive me for the things that I did in my life. And then, you know, and and I asked him, and I and I and after and I noticed though that when I that I prayed hard, and I prayed and asked God that you wrong and you wrong, and ask him to please forgive you. And I and so that's what he's done. He's done so he's all God watching me all the whole time, the day I was born until up to times now. He has uhm.. been watching over me. Even in Viet when I was uh.. when I was in the military he he when I was in Vietnam he I I didn't know what God was doing, but he he took care of me then. He he and so so I thank God for what he's done. I don't deserve anything, but God loves me. That's the reason why he did it for me. He loves every he realize realize so understand that God that God loves everybody. But those of you who recognize God, who He is and recognize that. And also, and and you have faith in God. You have faith in God in in God. You have faith in him and you and be and be obedient to his of his words he'll take care of you. He will take care of you.

Zarbock: But people often ask you I'm sure, ask you, pastor I pray and pray and pray and I don't get an answer. What do you say? If one of the people in your congregation said, "Why doesn't God answer my prayer?" I'm sure you get asked that.

Nelson: The reason why uh.. the reason why the people they sometimes they don't get their prayers when they pray 'cause they don't have any faith. You gotta have faith God. You have to faith in you have to have faith. You have to uhm.. believe and and believe in God. You have to believe. You have to say and also it has to come from your heart. That's the thing. A lot of times including I used to do the same sometimes. I just go to my nose and say a quick pray, and just, you know. But it wasn't in my heart. And so, but uhm.. but it goes into your heart and and you believe and you believe God and and you have faith God and and know that God loves you. And then also you and then he will he will give you your prayers. He will give you things that you he will give you the things you need. There's also sometimes he'll give you what you want sometimes. Sometimes not necessarily good, but he said but he'll he's all things. Everything that I've asked God, everything that I've ever asked for and prayed for the right way, he's given to me. He's given to me more, and then more than we so I I like to witness to I like to witness about God. I like to like God what he's done for me because I think. But uh.. so I don't see...

Zarbock: I'm gonna take you back again to the Marine Corp.

Nelson: Yes Sir.

Zarbock: When you were serving in the Marine Corp did you ever go to chapel?

Nelson: Yes I did. Not a whole lot though. I did go. I did go. In Okinawa I went to the churches, uhm.. no uh.. yes, I went went and uh.. when I was in Okinawa I used to go at the church up there. But to be honest with to be honest with you sir, a lot of times I was just going, going through the habit, you know, just going, just you know. My my father and mother they say, "Go to church." But you know, I go to church, you know. I didn't really even though I was a Baptist, even though I knew there was a God. I knew that. You know, I knew it was a God, but just the whole thing I didn't know anything. I just know I seen there's a God. There's a God. I see I know that, but I didn't that's about it. I had the word of God. I heard about Jesus Christ, and I heard the Holy I heard about the Holy Ghost, but I didn't understand. But as I started as I get older as I get older and studying, and then I know who God is. And uh.. what you have to do but it was necessary that I need to know God to the things things I have to go to in order to go to heaven. And these are things I have to know. I've been learning over the years. And I'm stilling learning. Everyday I'm learning something.

Zarbock: When you were in the military did you ever go see a chaplain?

Nelson: Uh.. no Sir. No Sir. I I did I see one?

Zarbock: Yeah, I mean did you ever go to his office and...?

Nelson: Oh uh.. yes sir, I did. Uh.. I went to talk to the chaplain. Uh.. if I had any questions uh.. sometimes if I had problems if I went to in fact one time I I didn't know I didn't send any I didn't send any mail to my mother. So she wrote to the Marine Corp. How come is he okay? So they checked on me, and then the chaplain called me in his office. He said, "You know, you go ahead and write your letters to write some letters to your mother, you have nice parents, your parents," he said. They've been sending letter here to me. Said, they don't if you got hurt or something. So I started, you know that's the only time. That's about it.

Zarbock: When you were wounded, were you frightened?

Nelson: Uh.. yes. Yes I was. Then that's when I started praying more. That's when I prayed there on uh.. when I was when I was uh.. when I got after after my eyes opened up and I I know didn't know it would happen. I was all messed up. And my legs was messed up. And then that's when right there I started praying right there. I said, "God I need some help. God after please help me Lord." And then, you know, I was just praying. I don't know exact the words, but I just I I prayed I just prayed til I said, "Lord, God, you didn't put me this far he said you didn't get this far to to die right out here now. I said, "God, please help me. Lord help me." And that's when he takes care of me right there.

Zarbock: Were you in pain?

Nelson: Yes, I was numbed. I was numbed in my left ankle. I was numb in my... And and uh.. but believe me, the blood was coming out. That's when I I fold it. Then I put the belt on my stopped it. That's what got me started thinking about. And I stayed down in a hole. And everything was gone like I said mentioned earlier. And that's when the helicopter they would've I'm sorry. And the Marine Corps came back to get all the bodies and dump them into the in the trucks and stuff like that, all the buddies and the and also the Vietnam people they throw them up body. You know, when they come to cut them here's here's another Sergeant right here. And he said, "Oh, he's alive. He's alive." He said uh.. then asked for the helicopter immediately.

Zarbock: But you really saved your own life... by putting that tourniquet on you. If you had not done that you would've probably bleed to death.

Nelson: That's right, I would. Yes, right. Yes, right.

Zarbock: Did you get a medal?

Nelson: Yes, I have a Purple Heart.

Zarbock: Well pastor I'm gonna do you have anything else you wanna tell me? Yours has been an exciting story.

Nelson: Uh.. God yes uh.. 'cause if you wanna turn that off I can then tell you something. Then you just wanna turn back again if you want to. Is it okay...

Zarbock: We'll go off. While off camera Sergeant Nelson provided me some documents. He was in Okinawa and was and saw a request. Provide a written statement on what it meant to be an American. He submitted a statement, and ended up a winner. This shot is with the Sergeant and general of the army Omar Bradley [ph?] awarding him the Valley Forge Award. Is that correct? In addition to that here is the Sergeant at Valley Forge. There will be a copy included in this document. And finally the Sergeant, with the then Commandant of the Marine Corp, Four Star General. Congratulations. Sergeant it's been a pleasure to meet you.

Nelson: Thank you. It's a pleasure here.

Zarbock: The Lord be with you Sir.

Nelson: Thank you.

#### End of Tape ####

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