Monday, June 18, 2007

Army Pfc. Larry Parks Jr.

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Larry Parks Jr., 24, of Altoona, Pa.

Pfc. Parks was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.; died June 18, 2007 in Arab Jabor, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

Pa. soldier, volunteer firefighter, killed in Iraq
The Associated Press

ALTOONA, Pa. — A Pennsylvania soldier known for his dedication as a volunteer firefighter was killed in Iraq, his family and friends said June 19.

The Pentagon has confirmed that a soldier was killed June 18 by small-arms fire in Baghdad, but did not immediately say whether the soldier was Pfc. Larry Parks, 24, of Altoona.

Parks’ brother, Adam, said June 19 the military informed the family June 18 of Larry Parks’ death. Parks was a tank gunner stationed at Fort Stewart, Ga., he said.

Bob Dennis, president of the Newburg Fire Association, said Parks “liked life in the fast lane and was full of adventure.” Parks enlisted in the military last year, Dennis said.

Firefighters gathering for a monthly meeting June 19 draped black bunting around the Newburg Fire Hall. Parks had been a volunteer firefighter for eight years, enlisting when he was 16 after having hung around the station when he was younger. Parks lived nearby, Dennis said.

Parks watched over younger firefighters, and they in turn idolized him, Dennis said. He had such a reputation for adventure that he received the nickname “Tasmanian Devil,” after the cartoon character that moves at breakneck speeds.

“He was the life of every party we’ve ever had,” Adam Parks, 21, said in a phone interview. “He was unexplainable.”

Parks enjoyed working on cars, especially Chevrolets. His dedication to the volunteer fire department rubbed off on his little brother.

“I’d seen him get into it, and right after that, I did,” Adam Parks said.

Army Pfc. Larry Parks Jr. was killed in action on 6/18/07.

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