Operation Backpacks for Soldiers

January 30, 2007 - Posted at 6:20 p.m. CST

JONESBORO-For the Parkers, it's all about giving back to their son and all of those who have served out country.

In early January their son Reddi was wounded after a bomb exploded in his vehicle while doing routine patrols in Iraq.

Since his incident, Reddi has been recovering at the Walter Reid Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

His parents just returned to Region 8 and reflect on their visit.

"It was a great thing seeing my son.  It was hard not to cry," said Reddi's father, Danny Parker.

But their visit to the hospital yielded more than a reunion.  It opened their eyes to many in need.

"When you walk in that hospital you see a lot of amputees, wheelchairs, prosthetics, and those kinds of things," said Mona Parker.

Therefore she and her husband wanted a way they could help those struggling to regain their mobility and a normal life.

"A lot of the staff there told us, that's something we are always in need of is backpacks because the soldiers can use them for anything," said Mona Parker.

In a phone conversation with their son Reddi on Tuesday, he said "it's helping a lot and helping the soldiers' morale.  It also helps them carry around their gear.  We have so many appointments and work outs, that you need something you can carry."

He also told me his parent's visit made him feel a lot better.

So now his parents are asking for the help of Region 8 as they try to collect backpacks through drop off points or donations.

Here are some ways you can help:

*Backpack Donations can be made at Coldwell Banker Realty at 2704 S. Culberhouse and Fox Meadow Intermediate School on Fox Meadow Drive.

*Monetary Donations can be made at the Liberty Bank on Southwest Drive or their location on Highland.  You can also make a donation at the Bancorp South on Ray Street.  At either location simply tell them you are donating to the Army Backpack Fund.

*Also you can purchase backpacks to donate at K-Mart for 35% off if you mention the backpack drive.

*Finally on February 10th and 11th you can swing by the Wal-Mart location on Highland where you can make monetary donations and speak with families one on one.  On those two days, Wal-Mart will be matching any and all donations made to the fund.

This list is growing, so if you would like more information on how you can get involved you may contact Danny or Mona Parker at parker1961@suddenlink.net.

Story Ideas or Comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com.