This Army officer died after donating bone marrow to save a complete stranger

Unsung Heroes

A 25-year Army reserve officer died on Sunday, weeks after he donated bone marrow to help save a 14-year-old boy in France.


Chief Warrant Officer 2 Derrick Nelson, a principal at Westfield High School in New Jersey, was contacted by the national non-profit Be The Match in October 2018, the high school's student-run newspaper Hi's Eye reported in February. After more than two decades since Nelson donated blood in a blood drive while in college, Be The Match was wondering if they could test his blood to see if it was a match for a teenage boy with in France with an undisclosed illness.

He agreed, and the test came back positive with a positive match. Nelson planned to donate stem cells through his bone marrow.

Nelson's father, Willie, told NJ.com that after the donation procedure in February, his son's eyes were open and he was able to recognize his family around him, but he was unable to speak or move.

"We really don't know the full story of what happened," the elder Nelson said. "We were expecting him to come out of the coma he was in. But he didn't make it."

A 16-year-old student at Westfield High, Marcela Avans, told NJ.com that Nelson "was the type of man that used authority was still such an approachable man. I can't name a single person that didn't like him."

Another student, 17-year-old Emma Roth, said she always remembers him "with a smile on his face at the games ... He was different from any other principal I've ever had."

Shelley Brindle, Mayor of Westfield, said on Facebook that Nelson's passing is "a tremendous loss for our community ... He was a man of immense character and kindness, and his legacy will live on in the generations of students whose lives he touched."

According to Hi's Eye, Nelson was exactly that — a man of immense character. He told the student newspaper of the procedure, "If it's just a little bit of pain for a little bit of time that can give someone years of joy, it's all worth it."

"We express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Derrick Nelson," U.S. Army Reserve Command spokesman John Bradley told Task & Purpose in a statement. "We share in the sorrow felt by his loved ones, and we must not forget the valuable contribution he made to his country and the impact he has left on our organization."

Nelson joined the Army Reserve in February 1994, serving as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Warrant Officer. Among his assignments was a year-long deployment in Kuwait, from June 2013 to July 2014. He leaves behind a fiancé and 6-year-old daughter, per NJ.com.

SEE ALSO: 'He Rose To The Highest Calling' — President Trump Presents Medal Of Honor To Fallen Army Hero's Son

CW2 Derrick Nelson. (U.S. Army Reserve Command photo)

On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.

Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.

In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.

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(U.S. Army/Pvt. Stephen Peters)

With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.

After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.

Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.

McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.

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(U.S. Marine Corps/Staff Sgt. Andrew Ochoa)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.

The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.

They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.

It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.

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(Reuters/Carlos Barria)

WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.

Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."

"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.

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