Wilkes Heritage Museum announced that the Annual Veterans Brick Dedication Ceremony will be Saturday, Nov. 3, at 4 p.m. on the front lawn of the Wilkes Heritage Museum. This event is free and open to the public. Please bring a lawn chair. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved inside to the museum auditorium.
Command Sergeant Major James A. Parker will be the special speaker. The Wilkes Heritage Museum will have both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Marine Corps League participating in the service. Carla Bowers will provide patriotic music.
Command Sergeant Major James A. Parker lives in Wilkesboro. He entered the United States Army in June 1970 and served eight years active duty prior to entering the Ready Reserve from July 1985 to October 2009.
Command Sergeant Major Parker has served in a variety of assignments including Command Sergeant Major of the 335 Signal Command, 324th signal Battalion, 535th MP Battalion, Operations Sergeant Major of the 1st Brigade 108th Division (IT), and as G3 Air 29th Infantry Division (Light) Virginia National Guard Senior Drill Sergeant Leader, 80th Division (IT) Drill Sergeant School. In 1974, Command Sergeant Major Parker was one of the original NCO’s in the First Ranger Battalion after serving as a Ranger and Recon Team Leader in the Republic of Vietnam. Combat service also included service with the 3rd Special Forces in Afghanistan, and as CCSM of the 535th MP Battalion in Iraq.
His military education includes all the NCA schools including the First Sergeants Course in 1987 and the Sergeants Major Academy in 1992. He is also a graduate of the Ranger School, Basic Airborne, Jump Master, Drill Sergeant Courses, Jungle Operations Training Course, Northern Warfare Training Course, Survival Escape and Resistance & Evasion Course, Special Forces Operations Course, Special Forces Military Free Fall I and Special Forces Military Free Fall II Jumpmaster, Instructor Training BFITC and Instructor Training PLDC.
His civilian education includes a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina and a certificate in Information Resource Management from Midlands Technical College.
His awards include The Legion of Merit, Bronze Star (2 OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (3 OLC) Air Medal with number 2, Army Commendation Medal (2 OLC) Army Achievement Medal (2 OLC) Army Good Conduct Medal 2nd award, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (3 OLC), Combat Infantry Badge, Ranger Tab, Master Parachute Badge, Drill Sergeant Badge, HALO Jumpmaster Badge, and the German Silver Parachute Badge.
Command Sergeant Major Parker lives with his wife, Debbie Elledge Parker, and has two sons, Matt and Ben.
Wilkes Heritage Museum, Inc. collects and preserves historic structures, artifacts, and documents of Wilkes County and serves as a resource center for every Wilkes County citizen and visitor. Through exhibits, educational programs, performances, and research, Wilkes Heritage Museum, Inc. interprets the history of Wilkes County and western North Carolina. For more information please call the Wilkes Heritage Museum at 336-667-3171 or visit www.wilkesheritagemuseum.com. Current hours of operation are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.