Parks found his true calling in the Army. He loved his country and his “boys”. Parks would go the extra mile for anyone that needed help. He was a mentor to so many and made a huge impact on every person he came in contact with. Parks’ spirit was such a bright light that it still shines after he has gone. Everyone that knew Parks lost a part of themselves the day he died. Our lives are much richer for him having been in it.
Nolan felt it an honor to be a soldier. He was most proud of his unit with the 101st Airborne, 506th Infantry Regiment first activated in 1942. The motto for this unit was Currahee, a Native American Cherokee word meaning "Stand Alone". This is the unit the movie Band of Brother was based on. His unit would always say "We stand alone, together". Nolan said his unit strove for excellence to preserve the legacy of this historical Regiment.
Parks was my baby brother. We were each other's first friend, turned adversary until we reached high school, and finally confidant. He had a great sense of humor and an infectious smile. He was a wonderful father and uncle. He was an absolute pain that I miss everyday. There are still days, even 8 years later, that I reach for my phone to send his a funny text. There will never be a day that I don't miss him and the world is lesser without him in it.
Being a Gold Star Mother is both heartbreaking and full of pride. Having a child that took the oath to protect and defend our constitutional rights even at the cost of his own life is an overwhelming pride that fills my heart. I am a part of a club I never wanted to join and am on a journey I never wanted to walk. I am so thankful for the support the Gold Star Families have as we navigate this path. As a military family we are bound by the love of our country and the loss of our loved one called to protect it.