Remembering A Fallen Hero

Friends mourn another military loss that hits close to home.

Twenty-six year old Caleb Nelson was killed in Afghanistan over the weekend after his vehicle ran over an explosive device.

Nelson was one of the prestigious Navy SEALS, the father of two young sons and a cherished and unforgettable young man.

Karen Wagner usually waits until Memorial or Veterans Day to honor American service men and women.

Monday morning, she flew the Stars and Stripes in honor of a neighbor.

Karen lives right down the street from Caleb Nelson's parents.

She remembers Caleb as a young man always willing to lend a helping hand.

"Caleb was a wonderful young man," Karen said. "A wonderful, wonderful kid. He was willing to help us. He did our yard work for years. A lot of times my husband didn't want to get up and clear out the gutters so it was call Caleb." >

Caleb was the fourth of ten children.

Karen remembers a time when she and her husband took the Nelson boys out for lunch.

"They were trying to tell us our names and my mind was just how will I remember their names and I think Caleb said 'when we get home I'm going to quiz you and see if you remember,'" she said. "Well, of course I didn't."

Caleb's father Larry is the pastor at Millard Alliance Church. Karen said Caleb would hang lights and help decorate the church for Christmas. She also recalls a scary time about a month ago when some Navy SEALS were killed in action.

"We were all just praying so hard that it wasn't Caleb," she said. "We were just so thankful that it wasn't him and now it is him."

Karen's flags wave in a neighborhood where a little boy grew into a man. The flap in the breeze in remembrance of a friend, a neighbor and a hero.

"Because of him and all the others before him that have died, we have our freedom and we're all thankful for that and if we're not, we should be," Karen said.

The Nelson family is now in Virginia with Caleb's wife and two children.

A military spokesman tells us local services and memorials honoring Nelson should be finalized later this week.


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