Quinton, Virginia, US
United States Marine Corps
SSGT, MV-22 Osprey training squadron
Marana , US, 04/08/2000
From wife Stacey Nelson’s testimony before a Department of Defense panel:
Bryan Nelson loved his job and it showed. He took great pride in his work and accomplishments. His expertise and enthusiasm won him The Instructor of the Year Award in 1998.
Brian felt that you could never know enough, and he continually sought out knowledge. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in aviation management from Southern Illinois University posthumously. He was very competitive in all that he did, both professionally and personally. He loved sports of any kind, and he felt that a mountain bike was the only way to travel, besides a helicopter.
The following is an excerpt from the last letter he wrote. I received it the day he died. It’s dated April 5th, and he writes: “Stacey, hey, baby, I’m getting ready to go to work. I have to fly late tonight. So I’m going in late. I received the picture of baby Nelson and it’s so cute. It’s really hard to believe that Brian Nelson has a beautiful wife, soon to be two beautiful children, and a house with a dog. It’s all because of you, you’ve given me this wonderful life, and I thank you for it. I love you very much. Well, I’m going to work. Love, Brian.”
Brian never saw the family he loved again. He isn’t here each night, as I console his 4-year-old daughter, Isabel, when she wakes up crying for him in the night. He wasn’t there when I gave birth to his second daughter Phoebe, and he isn’t here as I try to muster the will to simply get through yet another day without him.
His parents mourn the loss of an only child. His death has left a void in their lives that will never be filled. I can assure you the pain and loss that my family has suffered has been felt by each of the other 22 Marine families whose loved ones died last year in the Osprey crashes. Please see to it that all of the Osprey’s problems are fixed no matter how much it cost or how long it takes. Please don’t allow the problem to go forward until the aircraft is truly safe for our brave Marines. Thank you.