Arthur Middleton Parker
West Point, 1966
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by Richard Tarpley on May 7, 2013:
Art Parker was one of my closest friends from the day we met until the day he died. We roomed together for most of the last two years at the Academy. Art was easy going yet very determined. We complemented each other in our approaches to the challenges of being a cadet and our friendship flourished. We talked cars, music, women, sports...anything. We just liked each other and that made everyday so much easier. He took me to South Carolina and introduced me to the magic of Duke basketball and I became a fan. How he would have enjoyed the Coach K era! Art loved cars and convinced me to buy a Pontiac GTO just like his. He could not wait for Spring to drive so he rented a garage in Highland Falls and we traveled to New York in style to visit the beautiful Connie and her very cute roommate. We almost lost our driving privileges one Sunday when returning the car. We stopped for gas and an officer in uniform pulled up behind. We recognized him, threw money at the gas attendant, and peeled out to stash the car... close!
Art and I were both assigned to the 82nd Abn after garduation. We rented a house in Fayetteville with a series of other former cadets. In a little more than a year we were "leg", Airborne, and Ranger Lts, engaged, married, and shipped to VietNam. Life moved fast but we loved it. In November of that year Art and I actually wrapped our arms around each other and "cuddled" for two hours to keep warm in the mountains north of Tacoa, Ga. He was my Ranger buddy and we made it together. I made him promise never to tell anyone and yet it is a great memory.
The last time I saw Art was in Saigon at the beginning of the Tet offensive. He had just come into country and I found a ride to go see him. We hit a few bars and reminisced until curfew. In the middle of the night All hell broke loose and we both went back to our units. I was subsequently injured and flown home. Connie called me several weeks later to tell me Art had died. To this day I think what a waste. Art was a special man. He was an excellent officer, proud husband and father, and an exceptional friend. I miss him today.
West-Point.Org (WP-ORG), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, provides an online communications infrastructure that enable graduates, parents, and friends of the military academy to maintain and strengthen the associations that bind us together. We will provide this community any requested support, consistent with this purpose, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
WP-ORG is funded by the generosity of member contributions.
Our communication services are provided in cooperation with the AOG (independent of USMA) and are operated by volunteers serving the Long Gray Line.
For questions or comments, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.