By Pfc. Phil Regina, 305th Mobile Public Affairs DetachmentAugust 25, 2008
FORT SHAFTER FLATS, Hawaii - The 9th Mission Support Command (MSC) dedicated a pavilion here, Aug. 18, in honor of a Soldier who was killed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) while deployed to Iraq in 2005. The newly dedicated pavilion at the 9th MSC Headquarters was named "Parker Pavilion" in honor of Sgt. Evan Parker. Parker was killed while conducting a counter-improvised explosive device (IED) operation. At the time, he was attached to the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry. "What we're doing here today is honoring the life and sacrifice of an outstanding Soldier," said Col. Colbert Low, the regional emergency preparedness officer for the 9th MSC and former commander of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry. Low described the importance of Parker's mission and how his sacrifice saved the lives of countless others. "Parker's mission involved reducing the amount of IEDs that threatened the lives of our Soldiers," added Low. "Thanks to Parker and Soldiers like him, by the end of our tour we reduced the amount of IEDs from 21 to three, a success by anyone's standard." Col. Patrick Slowey, 9th MSC deputy commander of readiness, explained how, though losing a friend may be difficult, the dedication serves as a means of facilitating the healing process. "There are a roller coaster of emotions we go through when we lose someone close to us," said Slowey. "The ups and downs can go on for quite sometime and the healing process is difficult. We all grieve differently and have different journeys to healing. Oftentimes there are milestones and steps in the healing process, and I hope today that this memorial dedication is a milestone for many of you." Anita Foster-Dixon, Parker's mother, and Caleb Foster, Parker's brother, attended the ceremony to take part in commemorating Parker's sacrifice. Dixon explained her fallen son's convictions. "Everything and anything he did, he did with some effort, so much willpower, and so much love. He believed in everything he did, and he never backed down from anything," Foster-Dixon said. She continued by describing the humble nature of her son. "If Evan were here now, he would be wondering what all the fuss was about. Why he was receiving such special treatment when so many other Soldiers did just what he did."