Terry Parks grew up in south Minneapolis and attended South High School, class of 1972. At the age of 18, Parks joined the U.S. Navy Seabees MCB 133. He went in as a kid and came out as a petty officer third class builder. He was stationed in Homeport, Gulfport, Mississippi and his tours included Okinawa, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.
When asked if he had any thoughts he wanted to share about the war or what he learned about life, Parks said, “I actually grew up in Boot Camp, and POW training it was an eye opener. Coming back from overseas was brutal because the public hated us then. You didn’t know where the attacks would happen or spitting incidents. I learned to be more aware of my surroundings. To this day I have to face an exit door in restaurants.” Parks feels he was placed on this Earth to volunteer and serve the public. He volunteered to go to Vietnam even before his draft number came up.
Parks started dating his wife Carol Schiks in 1977 when he got home. He’d known of her for a while. She graduated from Minneapolis Central in 1969. They were married May 2, 1981, and have two wonderful sons, one wonderful daughter-in-law and a beautiful granddaughter, age 2.
After the war, Parks started working with Smith Ambulance. He’s now retired from Minneapolis Fire Department where he was a captain and the Brooklyn Park Fire Department as a district chief. He currently works as a fire investigator and recently got voted onto the Brooklyn Park City Council.
Parks received commendations for mostly community service in both cities, received Volunteer and Citizen of the Year awards, the Key to the City in Brooklyn Park and was Firefighter of the Quarter in Minneapolis. And to top it off, he was WCCO’s Good Neighbor a few years ago.