Robert Kenneth Parker

Army of the United States
05 July 1948 - 30 November 1969
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Panel 15W Line 010


Robert K Parker

Bronze Star (2 awards), Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Robert Kenneth Parker


When we took you to the airport
Emotion was hard to contain
With few words you bid us adieu,
Then slowly walked to the plane.

Without a single backward look,
A glance back you did not dare,
Lest you reveal the restrained tears
That we all knew were there.

At the door you stopped and turned,
And waved with a solemn smile;
Then hurriedly you disappeared,
Inside, and down the aisle.

We watched the plane taxi away,
Out to the take-off line;
We stood and watched disconsolately,
In our hearts was a hollow pain.

As the mighty bird rose to the sky
And rapidly faded from view;
No one knew when it took you away
What fate had in store for you.

We stood there in solemn silence
Until our composure would revive;
It never occurred that this would be
The last time we would see you alive.

I knew when those soldiers approached
At work on that busy day;
A deadly feeling crept through me,
I knew what they would say.

I rode around for an hour
For courage to quench the dread,
Of informing mother that her son
In Vietnam was dead.

They sent you home in a metal box
And sadness your return did bring.
The whole town turned out to mourn,
They buried you like a king.

Now I stand beside your grave
With taps emerging from the rear;
This occasion is beyond comprehension
But the past is all so clear.

My mind relives the days we knew,
Those happy days gone by.
I then concede to the decree of fate
With the obvious question ... Why?

by Leslie C. Parker

A memorial from his sister,
Linda Canter
3 Apr 2002

26 July 2002

My name is Tony Page, son to Robert L. Page Jr., who also served in Vietnam as a sergeant in the 9th Infantry Division, Army. Bobby was my father's childhood best friend. To this day I pull up this web page with Bobby's picture on it and say to myself I am proud to be an American. Bobby, along with all of the other brave men who fought for my freedom, will always be my true heroes. I never got the honor of meeting Bobby, though I can say he is one of my true good friends, and I carry him along with me in my heart and soul. I am a competitive bodybuilder hoping someday to become pro, it is my dream and my goal in life to succeed at this sport. I will never stop trying until I accomplish my dream. Bobby and his brothers who died never got a chance at life so I will live it for them and make the best of my life. I will bring this picture of Bobby to my next competition, and dedicate my perfomance to him and his brothers who died with honor for me and America.

From a friend forever,
Tony Page

29 Oct 2003

Bobby was a high school classmate. He was quiet, so very much more mature than the rest of us. When you did something stupid or immature, you were embarrassed if Bobby saw you doing it. He was a solid guy, unswerving in his loyalties and anchored by his conscience, which was always pointed true North. Corny as it may sound, he was one of America's best. I have several friends with their names on the Wall in Washington, but I purposely avoided going there to see them for a little over 20 years. When I finally went some years ago, Bobby's name was the first one I looked for. And when I finally found it on the Wall, I couldn't help weeping quietly, and looking up at it again and again somehow hoping that, by some form of magic, it wouldn't be there anymore and Bobby would be with us again. I'd be lying if I said he was a close friend, but he was a friend. Everyone knew, instinctively, that he was a person of rare substance. Too soon, Bobby. Too soon.

From a high school classmate,
Warren Thayer
PO Box 342, Norwich, VT 05055

21 Apr 2005

My name is also Robert, better known as "Wink". Bobby and I were best friends at LZ Uplift in Binh Dinh Province in 1969. We shared many times and stories together. I'll never forget when I was approached by another friend next to the Bong Song River and told that "Bub" (as we knew him) had passed away. It took me many years to get the courage and go to the Wall. Bobby's name inscription is the first place I go. Thirty some years later and still miss him.

From a friend,
Robert L. Winkler

20 Jul 2005

We had 21 years of friendship...
more like brothers, we were.

Now, 36 years since we sat and talked,
you still look the same.

And I still miss you, Bro....

From a friend,
Ron Currier

09 Oct 2006

My name is Sterling T. McCormick. I served in the 172d Military Intelligence Detachment as a fellow "Sky Soldier" with Bob Parker. He was very special to all of us and we still miss him. I am glad to know that this site is available to keep memories of our fallen comrades alive. I still have probably one of the last pictures of Bob standing in formation at LZ English. The day we lost Bob I was flying missions as an aerial observer with Casper Platoon. It was a very sad and traumatic day for the entire Detachment. I want to relay to his entire family that we love Bob, we miss him dearly and we know he is at peace.

From a fellow Sky Soldier,
Sterling T. McCormick
Command Sergeant Major (Retired)
US Army

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 173rd Airborne Brigade lost three men on 30 Nov 1969. Two are known to have been with E Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry. The third, SGT Robert Parker, was assigned to the 173rd's Military Intelligence Detachment; The Virtual Wall has not been able to determine if he was in the field with Echo 2/503 or if he was killed in a separate incident. The three men were
  • SGT Robert K. Parker, Newburyport, MA, 172nd MI Det
  • SGT Thomas H. Jones, Tennille, GA, Echo 2/503rd Infantry
  • CPL John A. Bossom, Portland, OR, medic, HHC with E/2/503rd Inf

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 3 Apr 2002
Last updated 08/10/2009