From the desk of Coach Gary Bailey:
Recently, Paul Nelson shared his story with me of his military decision. Now it has taken a new twist and I asked him to write it down so that we could share it with everyone…….here it is.
In my youth I heard stories about my families military service in the Army. My great grandfather fought in France during WWI, my grandfather fought in the Philippines during WWII, my father served in Korea during the Vietnam War and my brother fought in Afghanistan. My brother received an Army ROTC scholarship to Western Michigan University and became the first GBC student approved to cooperate with the WMU ROTC program. My brother,Stephen, spoke to me about the possible opportunities of applying for a ROTC scholarship and joining the military. My family history helped me in making the decision to proceed. I enlisted on April 24,2008 in the Army National Guard and applied for the ROTC scholarship program at WMU. The summer of 2008 I completed basic and advanced Field Artillery training at Ft. Sill, Ok. I returned in the fall of 2008 to begin ROTC training at WMU in addition to my studies at GBC. The summer of 2009 I spent at Ft. Lewis, Wa in leadership training. On May 8th, 2010, I graduated from GBC and was commisioned, by the Army, as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army National Guard. I will be completing the Army Leadership Developmental Assessment course this fall and be assigned to a Military Police unit in Taylor, MI.
The Army basketball journey began when my brother provided me with information about the “All Army” team. I began the application process, which included requesting authority from the local command to allow me the time to participate. It was a clear answer to prayer when all of the superiors gave permission and the team chose to send me an invitation to “try outs”. Today 7/21/2010 begins the first day and the tryouts will continue for three weeks here at Ft Myers, VV. I am thankful for the opportunity to possibly represent the Army while playing the game of basketball. I would appreciate if you would remember me in your prayers!
* Paul is the only player in Grace history to win three national championships in basketball (2006, 09, 10). Paul also finished his career with 1,101 points which ranks #14 on the all-time scoring list.
Paul was selected by the Department of the Army to be brought on active duty to participate on the All Army Basketball Team. The team will be training at a mid major NCAA D-1 level school as there will be 3 weeks of trial camp to be conducted at Fort Myer,VA from July 21 – August 14, 2010. The team will then participate in the Armed Forces Championships, August 15-23, 2010 at Fort Myer, VA. This will be followed by the CISM (World Military) Basketball Championships in Seoul, Korea from August 24 - September 18, 2010.