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

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

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

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, right, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe, left, walk at Trump's private Mar-a-Lago club, Tuesday, April 17, 2018, in Palm Beach, Fla. (Associated Press//Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

At a time when taxpayer and foreign-government spending at Trump Organization properties is fueling political battles, a U.S. Marine Corps reserve unit stationed in South Florida hopes to hold an annual ball at a venue that could profit the commander in chief.

The unit is planning a gala to celebrate the 244th anniversary of the Marines' founding at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach on Nov. 16, according to a posting on the events website Evensi.

Read More Show Less

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

QUANTICO, Virginia -- They may not be deadly, but some of the nonlethal weapons the Marine Corps is working on look pretty devastating.

The Marine Corps Joint Nonlethal Weapons Directorate is currently testing an 81mm mortar round that delivers a shower of flashbang grenades to disperse troublemakers. There is also an electric vehicle-stopper that delivers an electrical pulse to shut down a vehicle's powertrain, designed for use at access control points.

"When you hear nonlethal, you are thinking rubber bullets and batons and tear gas; it's way more than that," Marine Col. Wendell Leimbach Jr., director of the Joint Nonlethal Weapons Directorate, told an audience at the Modern Day Marine 2019 expo.

Read More Show Less

RACHEL, Nev. (Reuters) - UFO enthusiasts began descending on rural Nevada on Thursday near the secret U.S. military installation known as Area 51, long rumored to house government secrets about alien life, with local authorities hoping the visitors were coming in peace.

Some residents of Rachel, a remote desert town of 50 people a short distance from the military base, worried their community might be overwhelmed by unruly crowds turning out in response to a recent, viral social-media invitation to "storm" Area 51. The town, about 150 miles (240 km) north of Las Vegas, lacks a grocery store or even a gasoline station.

Dozens of visitors began arriving outside Rachel's only business - an extraterrestrial-themed motel and restaurant called the Little A'Le'Inn - parking themselves in cars, tents and campers. A fire truck was stationed nearby.

Alien enthusiasts descend on the Nevada desert to 'storm' Area 51

(Reuters/Jim Urquhart)

Attendees arrive at the Little A'Le'Inn as an influx of tourists responding to a call to 'storm' Area 51, a secretive U.S. military base believed by UFO enthusiasts to hold government secrets about extra-terrestrials, is expected Rachel, Nevada, U.S. September 19, 2019

One couple, Nicholas Bohen and Cayla McVey, both sporting UFO tattoos, traveled to Rachel from the Los Angeles suburb of Fullerton with enough food to last for a week of car-camping.

"It's evolved into a peaceful gathering, a sharing of life stories," McVey told Reuters, sizing up the crowd. "I think you are going to get a group of people that are prepared, respectful and they know what they getting themselves into."

Read More Show Less

OAKLAND, Calif. — A United States Coast Guard commander was charged with illegal importation of controlled substances Wednesday, a U.S. Justice Department spokesman said.

Read More Show Less

Tom Delonge has been speculating about aliens for years. According to Vulture, he quit Blink 182, the band he founded, years ago to "expose the truth about aliens," and he founded To The Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences "to advance society's understanding of scientific phenomena and its technological implications" — or, in simpler terms, to research UFOs and extraterrestrial life.

Read More Show Less