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March/April 2019

Dr. Elbert Nelson (left) with the battalion S-2 officer at a Medcap near Tay Ninh.

Dr. Elbert Nelson:
Always a Man of Honor

In the January/February Membership Notes article about Dr. Elbert Nelson, the writer did a nice job of covering his many achievements and awards, but nothing was said about his service in Vietnam.

We each had the privilege of serving with Dr. Nelson in 1969-70 when he was battalion surgeon for the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, of the 1st Cavalry Division. One of us was the medical platoon leader for the battalion, the other a senior medic. Dr. Nelson was exemplary as both a physician and a person. Although he is a reserved man, he took personal interests in the medics who served in the battalion. He made himself available to the medics at all times and often made an effort to teach us things that were not covered in our training at Fort Sam Houston.

As a physician, he knew his stuff and was solid. On Day One he stepped into the job and nothing seemed to surprise him. He was efficient in his work, and always showed concern and care for patients. All of the medics admired him. Also, he was cool under fire. On at least one occasion he was on a forward firebase during a massive ground attack. The stress of incoming rockets, mortars, and bullets did not seem to affect his professional skills or judgment. The wounded were taken care of as best as conditions allowed and then evacuated as soon as choppers could land. He was awarded a well-deserved Combat Medical Badge in addition to other medals for his service.

It is not surprising that after his military service Dr. Nelson would continue in an exemplary professional life and be recognized for his various community and humanitarian efforts.

Jim Price, Cary, North Carolina
Jack Hermann, Goutrens, France





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Always a Man of Honor
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