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National Guard Father, Son Deploy Together

Compliments of:

By Army Staff Sgt. Kristen Duus

When most soldiers deploy, they have to say goodbye to all the loved ones they leave behind. Two soldiers from 115th Military Police Battalion, a Maryland National Guard unit, each had one less goodbye to say.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army 1st Lt. Lester Parks Jr., left, and his father, Army Sgt. 1st Class Lester Parks Sr., pose together at Forward Operating Base Walton, in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province. The father and son are deployed with the Maryland National Guard’s 115th Military Police Battalion. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kenith Walker

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Lester Parks Sr. and his son, Army 1st Lt. Lester Parks Jr., deployed here together with the battalion, which is attached to 1st Armored Division’s 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

Sergeant Parks is the battalion logistics noncommissioned officer in charge, while his son is the military intelligence officer in charge.

The younger Parks was an enlisted soldier before he earned his commission, and for a time, they served together in the same battalion as staff sergeants.

“We were the same rank, same name, same battalion, so it was always kind of confusing,” Lieutenant Parks said.

When the younger Parks became an officer, his father rendered his first salute.

“I was proud of him,” Sergeant Parks said. “He’s exceeded my expectations.”

Although the pair is deployed together, they get to spend time together only briefly each week.

“It’s hard, because we’re both so busy and we work in different buildings,” the lieutenant said. “We try to have dinner every once in a while, or stop by just to say ‘hi.’”

But as little time as they get to spend together here, they see more of each other than they do at home, where they usually manage to meet only during drill weekends or family get-togethers. Sergeant Parks lives in Newark, Md., while his son lives in Leesburg, Va., nearly four hours away.

This is the second deployment for both, but their first together. Being deployed together brings comfort, Sergeant Parks said, knowing his son is not deployed on his own.

“Most people have to deal with being away from their families,” Lieutenant Parks said. “For us, it kind of merges. We are dealing with that family dynamic here. To me, he’s one of the guys.”

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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