PHILLIPS, ME, USA U.S. Army SGT, BATTERY A, 1ST BATTALION, 121ST FIELD ARTILLERY, AUGUSTA, ME SCANIA, IRAQ 06/14/2007
Richard was from Maine. His full name was Richard Kevin Parker. He loved his fiancée Ashley and, although Richard never got a chance to meet him, he loved their young son, Keagan. Richard loved his mother.
He was an all-American boy. He loved hunting and fishing and off-road riding across the Maine countryside. He collected coins, rocks, and fossils. He graduated in 1999 from Mount Abram High School in Salem Township, Maine. He was part of the fabric of his childhood community, and he was loved.
His cousin, Jonathan Parker, who as a child played basketball and went fishing with him, said “He was like an older sibling.”
A former neighbor, Gary Perlson, once chuckled and said “Richard was the only person who ever came trick-or-treating to my house.”
His mother, Dixie Flagg, described how, even as a 26-year-old adult and combat soldier, Richard would call and ask about baking recipes, using it as an excuse to talk. She wrote, “Every day for the rest of our lives, Richard will be in our hearts, our prayers and our memories… We love you son.”
And it was also clear to anyone who knew him that, from an early age, Richard loved his country. As early as junior high school, Richard was anxious to join the military, and so, even while still in high school, he enlisted in the Army. Years later, he was described by Maine National Guard Sergeant Major Greg Small as “an outstanding young man, an outstanding soldier, and a guy who loved his country and loved what he was doing.” Richard had fulfilled a lifelong ambition: he had extended his family’s tradition of military service.
Richard was remembered by his step father and friends as a protector and hero. Maine Governor John Baldacci commemorated him as “well-loved and greatly respected by his unit.” Flags flew at half-mast across Maine to remember Richard. He achieved the rank of Sergeant in 152nd Field Artillery Regiment of the Maine Army National Guard based in Waterville, Maine. He received the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, and posthumously, the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star while serving with Security Force II in Iraq.