ALTOONA, PA, USA U.S. Army PFC, COMPANY D, 1ST BATTALION, 30TH INFANTRY, FORT STEWART, GA ARAB JABOR, IRAQ 06/18/2007
Larry Parks, Jr. joined the Army because he wanted to make his family proud of him.
His parents, Cheryl and Larry Sr., were always very proud of him. So were his sisters Amanda and Hannah and his brother Adam and his half sister, Michelle Clark too. Larry had always volunteered to help others.
He was born on October 30, 1982, and he grew up in Altoona, Pennsylvania. He was a student, football player and wrestler at Altoona High, and from an early age, he sought out ways to contribute. He volunteered for many years at his local Volunteer Fire Department, starting when he was only 16. “He used to hang around down there and watch the guys practice,” said Bob Dennis, president of the Newburg Fire Association. “He wasn’t afraid to gear up and go into a burning building.”
Larry’s hobby was to work on cars, especially Chevrolets, and he’d use his knowledge to help others. Larry Sr. said “If someone was broke down along the road, he would stop and do what he had to do. It was total friendship and fellowship, even to a total stranger.” Adam proudly said Larry was “unexplainable.”
Larry’s example served as an inspiration to others, young and old, and after he passed, his community gathered to celebrate and honor him. Volunteers led a procession through an arch of outstretched fire truck ladders where a military honor guard laid him to rest.
Bagpipes played amid firefighter radios idling, waiting to hear Larry’s last call. Army Brigadier General Jesse Cross presented the Parks family with Larry’s Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Army Good Conduct Medal. “You have shared with the entire nation a precious gift,” Cross told the Parks family. “We can never repay that debt.”
Larry was a Private First Class in the United States Army. He served in Company D, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry, Fort Stewart, Georgia.