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U.S. Army Spc. Nick and U.S. Army Spc. Shelby Nelms are retired veterans who met during their time in service. While in the military, Nick served as a Combat Medic and Shelby served as a Military Police Officer.
Born in Germany where his family was stationed in the military, Nick always knew he wanted to join the Army. After moving to Texas when he was seven, he eventually became very active in his church’s youth group, finding his passion for ministry as a youth leader. Nick attended college at Christ for the Nations Institute before deciding to enlist in the military as a Combat Medic. After basic training, Nick was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, and in April 2010, he deployed to Afghanistan.
Shelby was born in Niceville, Florida, and growing up near Eglin Air Force Base made a lasting impression. Like her husband, she always knew she was meant to serve in the military. Shelby enlisted as a Military Police Officer after graduating high school and immediately after completing basic training at Fort Riley, she also deployed to Afghanistan in April 2010.
On February 2, 2011, Nick and Shelby both departed on a mission. Shortly after starting down the road, Shelby’s truck was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED), throwing the truck about twenty meters. As one of the combat medics in the convoy who saw the explosion of the truck ahead, Nick ran to the truck and found Shelby disoriented and injured. He quickly got her to safety. Nick recalls the incident as one of the worst moments of his life and on this day, he realized that he could not live without Shelby. The couple married later that year after returning from Afghanistan.
Shelby retired from the Army on Honorable Medical Retirement in December 2014. As a result of her time in combat, Shelby suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a traumatic brain injury (TBI), migraines, hip injuries and loss of sight in her right eye. Nick was honorably discharged as well shortly after. Nick suffers from PTSD, shoulder, knee and neck injuries, tinnitus and glaucoma.
During his years of service, Nick received several accolades including an Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 2 Campaign Stars, an Army Service Ribbon, a NATO Medal, Combat Medical Badge and more. Shelby was also awarded an Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 2 Campaign Stars, an Army Commendation Medal, an Army Service Ribbon, a NATO Medal and more.
Nick and Shelby currently live in Texas and work in fields where they assist veterans: Nick volunteers as a Wounded Warrior Advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives and Shelby volunteers as a General Schedule (GS) employee with the U.S. Army Garrison West Point. In addition to raising their two children, they have big plans for the future—Nick wants to learn about cinematography in order to tell stories that will inspire people and help them find hope in God. He also plans to become an ordained minister. Shelby’s dream is to become an esthetician and do mortuary make-up, helping people see their deceased loved ones in a beautiful and dignified state.
Operation FINALLY HOME and local builder, Wilshire Homes. are honored to come together to provide the Nelms family with a home to call their own in Round Rock, Texas!