This month we are sponsoring Major Francis Parks. Major Parks is stationed at Fort Levenworth which is practically local to me! I have never had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Parks, however, she and I share a good friend by the name of Stephanie. Stephanie is a second grade teacher at MacArthur Elementary School as well as a coworker of Mrs. Parks. Stephanie and Mrs. Parks are planning all sorts of fun projects for Major Parks during the coming weeks. Major Parks was kind enough to write a bio for Baking GALS! In his own words…
I was born in Seoul, Korea, but grew up in Richmond, Virginia. I went to college at the Johns Hopkins University on an Army ROTC scholarship, and graduated in 1994 with a B.A. in History. After being commissioned as an armor officer, I went to an armored cavalry squadron at Fort Hood, Texas. After finishing a M.A. in international relations from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and the Infantry Officer Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, I spent seven years at Fort Bragg, between the 82d Airborne Division, two years advising a tank battalion in the North Carolina Army National Guard, and the US Army Special Operations Command. I was the 101st Airborne Division’s strategic planner for the first half of their last combat tour from 2005-2006, and left Iraq to attend the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. After telling people there was no way I was coming back to the 101st, I got orders to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and have been in Afghanistan since February this year in my old job back at the 101st Airborne, which this time entails reading some policy, writing some strategy, and doing a lot of campaign planning. I have to admit, it’s strange to be reading about the things I’ve worked in the national news not too long after I thought it was put to bed.
I met my wife Maura in 1999, and we’ve been married seven years, with two children, Elizabeth and Alexandra. All of my girls are at MacArthur Elementary School at Fort Leavenworth, Maura as an instructional assistant, and Elizabeth and Alexandra as students.
In my off time, I do some reading, some running, and when I get the chance, play lacrosse (first thing I packed in my duffle bag was my lacrosse sticks). I remain a dedicated Hopkins lacrosse fan, and I’ve been known to stay up late to listen to some games over the internet while in Afghanistan.
After I redeploy, I’m headed back to Fort Leavenworth, where I hope to pass on some of the lessons I’ve learned about strategy and campaign planning.
ALSO! We’ll be shipping to SSG Gary Rice of the 955th Engineering Company, Detachment 1. The 955 Engineering is an Army Reserve unit based out of St. Louis, MO. SSG Rice and his men deployed in June and anticipate another five months of the sandbox. The 955th, Det. 1 is currently serving in Iraq attached to 46 ECB/(H).
955th Eng. Co. Det 1
We’re hoping to ship a box to both Major Parks and SSG Rice to fill their hearts with Christmas joy. Please go to the baking GALS site and sign up if you want to be on my team!