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Walker Rotary Club, Moondance Jam join forces to support Operation Hometown Proud

by Dean Morrill, Editor
The Pilot-Independent

Friday, July 12th, 2002

The Walker Rotary Club and Moondance Jam has joined forces in support of Operation Hometown Proud.

The Rotary Club recently adopted two squads of soldiers (24 men), while Moondance Jam organizers will try and raise $10,000 to support the soldiers who are fighting in Afghanistan.
Operation Hometown Proud was born to support 2001 Walker-Hackensack-Akeley High School graduate Private First Class Neil Nelson and his battalion. The soldiers departed for Afghanistan the morning of July 5 and arrived a couple of days later.

Moondance Jam promoter and owner Bill Bieloh, Nelson's uncle, has shown his support for Operation Hometown Proud by forming his own army. Jammers can join the Moondance Jam Army, with all proceeds going to Operation Hometown Proud. Rank is based upon the amount of the contribution. The goal is to raise $10,000 during the four-day festival, which will go to support troops in Nelson's battalion.

Operation Hometown Proud was born in a gesture of support for B Company, 1st Battalion, 505 Infantry Parachute Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. The Walker American Legion adopted Bravo Company to support them while performing their mission overseas. The battalion has been mobilized to fight the War of Terrorism in Afghanistan for six to nine months.

Through local contributions to Bravo Company, Walker and surrounding hometowns will be able to share their pride for every Hometown Hero. The city of Walker kicked off Operation Hometown Proud July 4.

Kelly Nelson, Neil's father, said Monday that several other Walker groups, clubs and businesses are currently in the process of adopting squads.

If interested in adopting a soldier, or better yet a squad, have your group or organization call Kelly or Jeanne Nelson at (218) 547-2222.