Hero of the Week: David Nelson
By RU Contributor Antonio Aguilar
It’s a sad fact that we seldom hear good news anywhere. Every time you turn on the TV there is another story about some government official caught misusing public funds, an affair, or some random act of violence. When I got online today my PoliceOne news letter had an article about a veteran taking a bullet for someone else. It was all in one; a random act of violence, the brave actions of a veteran standing against that violence, and a tragic death.
You see, according to Fox Detroit, Army veteran David Nelson saw a drive by shooting about to happen in the neighborhood that he had grown up in and instead of standing by and watching or running away, he took action. He pushed the target, a woman who had just had an argument with the shooter earlier in the evening, out of the way and was struck by the bullets meant for her.
David Nelson was a recipient of the Purple Heart and completed tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He reportedly may have also saved other soldiers in Iraq after an IED strike. He adopted his own siblings and was raising five children total. And then, when he saw someone about to be killed, he gave up his own life to save them.
The unnamed shooter was arrested while his driver remained at large. I am willing to bet that in the future we may hear how the shooter grew up in a bad neighborhood, was afraid that someone was going to come gunning for him, or was just misunderstood. We’ll probably hear how what he did was wrong but please, we all just need to have a little mercy… blah, blah, blah. One look at the victim and his actions can put things into perspective.
It doesn’t matter where we come from or who we are, our actions define us. We can come from good or bad backgrounds but the choices we make determine who we are. I don’t know how David Nelson grew up or what kind of life he had before the Army, but as the record indicates, he chose to do the right thing more than once and other people owe their lives to him now. Likewise I know nothing about the shooter but his actions also speak volumes. He had a fight with the lady he later tried to kill, his girlfriend, and then came back gunning for her and ended up shooting the man who tried to save her life. He could have walked away and cooled off; instead he walked away to get a gun and an accomplice and came back to commit murder. One is a hero, one is a shit-bag, as defined by their actions.
So I salute David Nelson, and all other service members who, even after taking off their uniforms, continue to live by the values of the military. Those men and women who continue to place other lives above their own, who continue to take a stand when they see something wrong; those people are heroes through and through. Thank you to them for making America a tiny bit better every day, even if it costs them their lives.