Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Army Sgt. David B. Parson

30, of Kannapolis, North Carolina.
Parson was conducting a raid on a house in Baghdad, Iraq when he was shot and killed. Parson was assigned to the 1-37th Armored Battalion, 1st Armored Division, Friedburg, Germany. Died on July 6, 2003.

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"You have not been forgotten brother,it has been a long time since 6july 2003 you are in my heart and mine everyday.being stationed at the same place in Germany 30 yrs apart is special you with 1/37,myself 1/36 and you marring my daughter and y'all giving us 3 grand children that have done very well in there lives.make no mistake you will never be forgotten as long as I live...DEEDS NOT WORDS 1/36 3rd arm spear head"
Ferris Belman jr of Spotdylvania va

"I will never forget. Prayers go out to your family and friends today."
Terrie Tesney of Elizabethtown KY

"Thinking of you, Mary, and your sweet children on this Memorial Day. David's sacrifice for our country means more to me than I ever as I come to truly appreciate the meaning of freedom. He would be so very proud of all of you, my sweet friend."
Andrea Haebig of Tampa, Florida

"To David's family,
I served with David at Ft. Drum, NY. It broke my heart when I learned of his (& your) sacrifice. I've thought for years about looking you up and writing to you about him and to offer any help I can give. Mostly I have thought about sharing with his children about the kind of man he was. I am joyful to see that so many have already done that! There is a clear consensus that David was a special human being. I am so sorry for your loss and so thankful to all of you for sharing him with all of us. I consider it the highest privilege to have served alongside him, and my ongoing privilege and duty to continually pray for you. David is one of the best men I've ever known. He loved you all very much! He is one of my heroes.

God bless you. If there is EVER anything I can do to help you in any way, please don't hesitate to contact me. As Eric Soles put it in his post, David would do it for any one of us!
Terry Randall
317-919-3467
terry.randall@va.gov"
Terry Randall of Indianapolis, IN

"Sgt. Parson,
Sir, as a fellow Marine I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country-not just in OIF but also when you served in Bosnia as well and also in the USMC. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"David will never be forgotten, always honored as a true hero in our memories...love and prayers for the family."
Kathy Smith of Spotsylvania, Va

"Here is the address I gave for Memorial Day today. Sorry about the length, but I hope it captures Dave's spirit well.

Introduction to Memorial Day:
Thank you all, for coming to help us honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and prosperity. Originally called Decoration Day, this holiday was based on the tradition of coming together to decorate the graves of American soldiers with flags and flowers. On May 5th 1868, John Logan, National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic proclaimed “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of the country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance, no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts & comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.” Memorial Day, as we know it today, became an officially recognized federal holiday in 1971 and was set on the last Monday in May, to create a perpetual three day weekend. While it is obvious that some of the reverence, tradition and remembrance has been lost to the celebration of the start of summer and barbeque season, it is important that we recognize the original message of the holiday, as a community. In 1966, Waterloo New York was declared the birthplace of Memorial Day, based on an annual tradition there, where businesses closed for the day and the town’s residents came out together to decorate the graves of soldiers and celebrate and remember the sacrifices that have been made in the name of patriotic duty. Waterloo was one of many towns holding such a tradition, at that time. I appreciate everyone, today, who is joining us to ensure that Coeur d’Alene Idaho is included in the list of cities that will gather in this old tradition of remembering our most honorable fallen heroes.
The message:
I believe that I was asked to deliver this message because I remain active in making sure that we honor, aid and remember our veterans in this community. In the process of working toward these means, people often approach me and say “I always appreciate our veterans and what they’ve done for us.” To which I often ask, “how?” Folks, I have seen many dumbfounded looks to this simple question.
I started participating in Memorial Day celebrations for my friend SGT David Parsons. David was a good friend of mine in the 10th Mountain Division in New York and we served together in Bosnia. As I was leaving Ft. Drum, to attend college at Gonzaga University and start a new civilian life, David had just been moved to a high speed armored division and had been accepted to Pathfinder school. My friend was killed by enemy fire, while conducting a raid on a house in Baghdad Iraq on July 6th 2003, leaving behind a young family and a hole in my heart forever. It was David Parson’s dedication to military service and to the protection of American life and liberty, which originally called me to the task of honoring our veterans each Memorial Day. It was something I wanted to do.
In 2006, when I started this tradition, I was amazed at the involvement. I joined many fellow veterans in placing flags on the graves of our fallen comrades in preparation of the ceremonies. At the ceremonies, we performed rifle salutes, speeches, prayers and tributes, often in the rain and poor weather. I remember thinking, if it weren’t for the veterans ourselves, there would be no preparation, no ceremony. I participated because it was something I had to do.
I started a putting together a free lunch for Veterans each Memorial Day in 2008. I recall having the idea, as several of us huddled in a little restaurant on Memorial Day in 2007. We bought hot coffee to warm up and we told stories about our military service and our buddies, while getting out of the rain between ceremonies. I thought, if our community knew that these events were primarily put on by the same veterans that we should be honoring and they are here buying coffee to keep out of the rain, I bet they would offer to buy coffee for these guys. I talked to some restaurant owners about hosting an event, I asked work colleagues to help me with the logistics and we asked local Veterans groups and the paper to get word out to veterans and potential donors. The response was more than I ever could’ve imagined. Last year we fed 173 veterans for free at the Vernon Baker Memorial Day Free Lunch for Veterans. The community provided monetary donations to offset the costs enough that every restaurant agreed to do it again. I did this because we needed a place for the veterans attending and participating in today’s event to have a warm dry place to eat and reminisce with fellow veterans about their service and the buddies that were lost to war. Whether it is because we want to, we have to or because we need to, it is all of our responsibility to find a way to remember and honor our veterans, alive or deceased, on the last Monday of every May, because every one of them has sacrificed something, up to their lives, in protecting our ability to do so, freely.
There are military graves in this cemetery and every other in cemetery in the city, which are in ill repair and are in need of attention. There are currently more than 23 million military veterans in the United States. Of these, almost 15%, more than 3.5 million veterans, were discharged with a military related disability. Due to incredible advances in medicine and battlefield life saving techniques, wounded soldiers are becoming more difficult to recognize, but their wounds, physical and emotional, are very real. They need help. Local nursing homes and assisted living facilities are home to many of our aging veterans, many of whom are lonely and eager to share some amazing stories. Nonprofit groups, such as the DAV, Wounded Warrior and Honor Flight programs need donations and volunteers in order to honor and care for our heroes. Groups are out selling poppies today to raise funds for Veteran Services. An internet search for veteran services or a stop by the local VFW can provide information on a host of veteran services, all of which need help. To those of you with a military background in attendance today, I thank you for your service and your dedication to your country. To those of you who already know “HOW” you are appreciating our veterans, I thank you. You cannot know how important your service is to those who need it. To those of you who realize that appreciating our veterans takes more than lip service, but who haven’t yet decided how to help, I encourage you to start today. Seek out an organization and start helping today or create your own organization or event. We can only work as a community when we are willing to act as individuals, and our veteran community is already over tasked in caring for our own. I will continue my work for David Parsons, who lost his life at the age of 30 in a foreign land, and for his family who gave up a father, a husband, a son and a friend in the name of freedom and the American dream of liberty for all. You need to do it for the soldiers that you know or have known in your life. If you don’t know a soldier, then please do it for my friend David. He would have done it for you. Thank you."
Eric E. Soles

"To the family of David Parsons, I served in the 210th FSB with your Dad in the 10th Mountain Division (with Huntley, Patterson & Garcia who I see have already posted here). David was one of my best friends there. I got to meet his beautiful family on Thanksgiving 2001. I shot a deer with him in the woods of NY & after he helped me dress & drag the deer out of the woods, he had my girlfriend at the time, Darcie, and I over to your home to celebrate. He knew that we had no family around and you all shared your thanksgiving with us. I was blown away at how welcoming and hospitable you all were, and friendly. I will always remember David and his family in a special place in my heart. I tried to locate the family to see if help was needed & to share some stories but I was never able to find contact info, so I am very happy to find this page, please call upon me if you need anything. Tomorrow, I will be speaking at a Memorial Day celebration & I will be talking about David. I will try to post the contents here later. Eric.soles@edwardjones.com 509.993.8123"
Eric E. Soles of Coeur d'Alene Idaho

"David was my dad and I only knew him until I was four, but I still love him. Thank you Dad.
Love,
Your Daughter,
Majalya M. Parson"
Majalya M. Parson of St. Pauls, NC/USA

"To the Parson family,
I am a member of JROTC and I bought a flag that is a memorial of fallen soldiers. I bought it years ago but just now looked up the soldier is memorializes and it is SGT Parson. I am thankful that he served and gave his all for this great country and yall are in my prayers."
Warren Jackson of Brandon, Mississippi

"I'd just like to leave another message for one of my fallen soldiers. SGT Parson, I think of you often when training, caring and mentoring my troops. You are missed."
SFC Huntley, Raymond G, 3BCT 101st ABN DIV (AASLT) "Rakkasans" of Salerno, Afghanistan

"hi I have to frindes they are both in army non of them daid yet but i miss them both I will pray for all of you people"
kaylee texas

"You will never be forgotten. As that day approaches of you sacrifice to this country, fellow soldiers, and heros that went before you. God bless the Warrior, Husband, Father and Son"
Michael Corwin of Watertown, New York

"To the Parson family: I think of your family and beautiful children often and wish the best for you all."
Erin Nelson of Bismarck, North Dakota (formerly Friedberg, Germany)

"Dear David B.Parson family. I was station with David in FORT DRUM NY. And he stood out from everyone else, and he was one of a kind, I have not for gotten him and I never will."
James Patterson of Spiecher IRAQ

"4Dec2008 I think of you each day,and miss you as much now as before.Emmy and the kids are fine you would be proud of how they are turning out.All are very smart and do good in school.They have te best mother in the world,you will always be in there hearts.I love you son-in-law.I know you are standing tall in heaven. DEEDS NOT WORDS"
Ferris M Belman Jr of Spotsylvania Va

"June 28, 2008
To the family of Sgt. David B. Parson:
David gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Sgt Parson was more than my leader he was a mentor a role model and a freind he helped mold me into a better man and will forever be in my prayers"
PFC Richard D Benjamin of Livingston NJ 07039

"To the Family of David Parson.
I would like to extend my deepest sympathy. I served with David at Marine Corps. base Quantico. He was a very fine indevidual, and a very good friend.
I am very sorry."
Daniel Mcgehee of Muldrow,OK

"To the Parson family: You all are forever in my thoughts. I wish the best for Majalya, Fischer, and Wilson."
Holly Curtsinger of Fort Hood, Texas

"25dec2006,time has not made any difference,you are missed so much my son-in-law,emmy and kids are good----------DEEDS NOT WORDS---------"
Ferris Belman Jr of Spotsylvania Va.

"Please help me contact an american medical soldier in iraq. His name is Jason Parsons. What can I do? to whom should I write? lieschen.eger@gmail.com Thank you a lot."
Lieschen Eger of Guatemala, Central America

"A nother year has passed,still miss you,will never forget you son-in-law. you are my hero.DEEDS NOT WORDS1/36 inf.ray barracks 1972"
ferris belman of spotsylvania va.

"To the family of:David B. Parson I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully, we will meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell, Gateway Community Church, 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ,"
Polly Ballew of Covington,Ga

""I was stationed with Sgt. Parson in germany and was deployed to Iraq with him. I looked up to him in many ways, being a soldier and as a man. He talked about his family all the time and loved them so much. He is truly missed by all!
Sincerly,
Jason Mindy

deeillest1@yahoo.com"
Jason Mindy of Bethel PA

"thanksgiving 2005,miss you for ever son in law,think of you allthe time,no body will ever take your place.DEADS NOT WORDS 1/36inf.1972"
ferris belman jr. of spotsylvania va.

"thanksgiving 2005,miss you for ever son in law,think of you allthe time,no body will ever take your place.DEADS NOT WORDS 1/36inf.1972"

"I was a Sergeant with 1/7 and served with Parson when he was in 29 Palms. He was a hell of a Marine, a hell of a human being, and it was an honor serving with him and knowing him. My thoughts and prayers are with you now and forever."
Eric Magnelli of New York

"I had the chance to serve with SGT Parson at FT Drum. I was enlisted back them. I could testify that all the praises on him are not exagerated because he was a great NCO and a great friend. He was always there to offer advise. He loved his family, and he loved the Army. He will always be in our thoughts. I was deeply hurt when Jenny Marlow told me of his death.
My condolenses to his family."
2LT Maribel Nolasco

"Dear Parson family
i served with sgt. parson in iraq i was his gunner for a while i did the move up north with him. i am sorry i feel your pain and i wish i could do anything to help out. Mary please contact me at 253 468 0732. Please i would like to heard from you and the kids."
Sgt. Chipix Aaron of fort lewis Washington

"Dear Family of Sgt. Parson:
I just received my bracelet from HeroBracelets.Org and it is imprinted with your son's name on it. I searched the internet to find out some information about him and found this website. I am wearing his name with honor and telling everyone about HeroBracelets.org."
Carolynne Allaben of East Grand Rapids, MI

"I was SGT Parsons NCO at Ft Drum NY. I remember him as a loving father and would like to send my heart out to his wife and family. One of my old soldiers told me about it just after I PCS'ed to Hawaii. I cried that day because he would be the first one of my soldiers that I have lost in combat operations in Iraq and Afgahistan. I tried calling the 210th to get your contact information but they did not have it. One thing I've learned is that, as an nco, even though you should not hold yourself responsible you do, reguardless of how well the soldier was trained or how proficient he was. After hearing of SGT Parsons I told myself that I would make it my personal goal to ensure that I would train my soldiers long and hard to ensure something like this doesn't happen again with my soldiers."
SSG Huntley of Honolulu HI USA

"I served with sgt parson in iraq, he was my wing man in my squad. I am honored to have known him, he taught me allot about being a solider and a human.I am sorry he is gone , but prommis I will live the rest of my life with him as my mentor"
spc Joe Brehun of Friedburg Germany(Bandits)

"I worked with Sgt. Parson and NO one else taught me so much about selfless service as he did, whether on duty or off duty

I will miss him"
Yeni M Marlow of Queens New york

"In Loving Memory..Its been a year..

At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends, We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Rest in Peace Dear Soldier!!! We will NEVER FORGET!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN

"Dear Family Members: We are sorry for your huge loss. I'm a reporter and would like to tell the story of your husband. Will you contact me at annsheridan@nbc6.com?"
ann sheridan of charlotte, north carolina

"Dear Family Members: We are sorry for your huge loss. I'm a reporter and would like to tell the story of your husband. Will you contact me at annsheridan@nbc6.com?"
ann sheridan of charlotte, north carolina

"To David's family: condolences from a distant family member in California. It is a loss for all."
Rosanna Gowan of Redding, CA

"VERY SADDEN FOR SGT.DAVID PARSONS LOST. AN THE ENTIRE WAHL FAMILY OFFERS OUR CONDOLENCES TO THE PARSONS FAMILY. MORE SO THAT BOTH ARE THE SAME AGE AND FROM NEIGHBORING TOWNS IN NORTH CAROLINA. OUR PRAYS ARE WITH DAVID AND HIS FAMILY. OUR FAMILIES ALTHOUGH SADDEN BY OUR LOST. WE CAN BE PROUD OF OUR SONS FOR SERVING OUR COUNTRY."
LEONARD WAHL of VALLEY STREAM NY

"We Will NEVER FORGET !"
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, David, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Sergeant Parson, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"To Sgt. Parson's Family:
Though we are strangers, we want you to know how sorry we are your David was taken from you. There is no doubt his thoughts were of you as he served with the Army in Iraq. We will never forget. You are in our hearts (1/27/04)"
Carol & Larry Miller of Tampa, Florida

"Thank you David Parson, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"I grew up with David Parson in Mayodan, NC as we were close to the same age and lived in the same neighborhood. We went to high school together and worked together in a local textile plant before he joined the armed forces some 10 years ago. I lost track of him after that, only to hear the tragic news of his death in July 2003 in defense of his country. The news hit me pretty hard as he is the first person that I knew personally to be killed in action during combat. But I am extremely proud that the kid who use to ride his skateboard and shoot basketball at my house made this sacrifice for me and all other Americans. Godspeed, David, especially today as Saddam Hussein was finally captured! You will never be forgotten and my thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends."
Chris Noell of Mayodan, NC

"My family was next door neighbors of the Parsons when we all lived in Gouverneur, NY, when the Parsons were at FT Drum. They are wonderful people, and may God help them through this awful ordeal."
Steve, Stephanie, Cody, and Ashleigh Wheeler of FT Drum, NY

"To the family,
My heart goes out to you all. I will never forget the times David and I cut up in our high school marching/concert band class, together in Mayodan. David always made me laugh. To this day, a memory of our shanagans makes me smile. He truly was a delightful soul. I am honored in knowing him for all those years. His memory has and will always stay with me.

God bless him and his family"
Jeff Vernon TSgt/E-6 USAF of Dallas, Georgia

"I want to extend my deepest sympathy to the family of SGT Parson. My son was SGT Parson's Scout Platoon Leader and I know how deeply his death affected Joe. Joe's wife Robin attended the funeral and has told me about the courage and strength Mary has shown through all of this. SGT Parson would be extremely proud of her. May God bless Mary, her children, and the rest of SGT Parson's family. As the mother of another soldier in his platoon, my heart and prayers go out to his mother as well. May God give you strength. If any of the rest of the platoon gets a chance to read this, please know that you are in my prayers as well."
Respectfully, Linda Siegfried of Colorado Springs, CO

"My son PV2 Joseph Brehun served with Sgt. Parson in Bagdhad. He held him in high regard and dearly misses his presence around the camp. Our family shares his grief and extends our deepest sympathy to his loved ones. Ironically, we just received photos from our son and Sgt. Parson is in some of the photos. I would love to share them with his family."
debbie brehun of greensburg

"Sgt. David B. Parson was my Truck Commander for a brief time until his death here in Baghdad. Make no mistake, I never served with a better man. Sgt. Parson the soldier was no different than David Parson the man, they coincided wonderfully that led to a enjoyable working environment. He always treated you like a man, not just someone he supervised. He would tell you what you needed to do and let you do it yourself. Not once did I hear him get upset or lose his cool. He cared about his soldiers than himself. For example if there was a untimley guard shift after we came back from a patrol, he would take it so his men could get some sleep. He was the perfect soldier who loved his family more than anything. He proudly displayed the picture of his wife and three children in the truck and his eyes lit up whenever they were mentioned. The United States Army lost a great man on July 6, but his memory lives on in us and everyone who was lucky enough to know him. We remember the good times we shared, and as short lived as they were, there were plenty of them. The only thing I wish I could have done is gotten to know him a little better, I guess I took it for granted that it would happen over time. Heaven now has a special guest, and I know that he is smiling down on all of us. My thoughts and prayers, as well as those of our entire Scout Platoon are with Mary and the rest of the Parson family. As long as this platoon lives, David's memory will not be forgotten. We all miss you David..."
SPC Matthew L. Dickerson of Baghdad, Iraq

"To the family and friends of Sgt. David Parson

Words can not express how sorry our family is about the death of Sgt. Parson. We feel a special connection to him because one of our close family members, Sgt. James Spaulding, was with him in Baghdad. James wrote and then called to tell us he had lost his mentor, supervisor and best friend. James has asked that we put his wife and their three children on our churches pray list for him. Sgt. Parson and his wife took James into their home in Germany to share this past Thanksgiving. James is heart broken and so are we. You are all in our hearts and prayers. May God wrap His arms around you and give you peace and comfort during this very difficult time."
Denise Murphy of San Clemente, California, USA

"Our prayer for SGT Parson's family is for strength, guidance, and perseverance from the Lord to face their loss and the difficulties associated with it. As a former supervisor of David's, I missed him when he left Fort Drum to seek that which he yearned. A great soldier and family man that loved both with equal vigor, I miss him yet again. May God strengthen your family."
CW3 (Ret) Chris Bamberg of Carthage, NY

"I worked with SGT Parson when he was stationed at Fort Drum 210th FSB, my condolences to his family for your loss. I would like to thank Sgt Parson for his sacrafice to our country and the freedom that i enjoy still today. I served proudly with him. May he rest in peace."
SPC Garcia of Fort Drum, NY

"To the family and friends of Sgt. David Parson:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless David for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Sgt. David Parson:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of David, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on