LCPL Thomas Parker
Groundbreaking Ceremony held on November 23, 2013
Marine Lance Corporal Thomas “Tommy” Parker was on his first deployment when he lost both of his legs in an IED blast in Sangin, Afghanistan on December 11, 2010.
Returning to base after a day-long mission of clearing IED’s for a local farmer, LCpl Parker was the bringing up the rear of a patrol of twenty men from the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, when he heard shots being fired. With darkness falling all around them and unable to pinpoint exactly where the shots had come from, the decision was made to continue to base while they still had daylight to guide their travel.
Within no more than 20 feet, LCpl Parker stepped on an IED, suffering traumatic amputations of both of his legs and left fingers and forearm. The corpsman and his squad worked fervently to save his life and prepare him for his evacuation by a British Royal Marine Helicopter.
Placed in a medically induced coma, the last thing Tommy heard before falling asleep was the British Marine telling him that everything was going to be okay. Awaking in Bethesda, Maryland three days later, Tommy had no idea that he had been to Landstuhl, Germany in the interim.
LCpl Parker remained at Walter Reed National Medical Center at Bethesda for 2 months, enduring surgeries and rehabilitation before being transferred to Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego where he was treated for 21 months before retiring on November 28, 2012 and returning home to Ronan, Montana.
- Groundbreaking- November 23, 2013