DAEGU, South Korea - Winter is upon us and the leaves have begun to shift from a lush green, to oranges, reds, yellows, and browns in the colorful city of Daegu.
The holiday season, kicked off with Memorial Day in September and concludes on New Year's Day. The holiday season is not simply a time to enjoy the crisp cool weather. It is a time to celebrate family, reflect on our blessings, have fun and most importantly, eat good food.
"We all come from different walks of life but at the end of the day we all like food. Everyone has their own culture and their own types of food but at the end of the day the one thing that brings us all together is food," said Pfc. Nicholas Busby-Parham, a culinary specialist with the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command's Sustainer Grill, here on Camp Henry.
"It doesn't matter where you are from in the world, you have to eat food," said the mild mannered 'Bama-Boy.'
Always interested in culinary arts, Busby-Parham took his life by the reins and is making a difference abroad.
Busby-Parham, a Birmingham native, and resident of the Ensley community is spending his first Holiday Season 7,000 miles away from "Sweet Home Alabama" but is optimistic nonetheless. Busby-Parham joined the United States Army Feb. 24, 2015 as a food service specialist. He completed advanced individual training and was assigned to the peninsula of Korea for his first venture in the life as a Soldier.
"I joined the Army to make a better life for myself and influence my community and the people around me. Honestly there is no other place that I would rather be than here serving my fellow brothers and sisters in arms and their families during this holiday season," said Busby-Parham.
"A traditional holiday meal at my granny's house involves turkey, greens, yams, dressing, sweet potato pie, cornbread, corn on the cob, ham, mashed potatoes, red velvet cake, caramel cake, several side dishes and the list can go on forever at granny's house," he said. "Don't get me wrong I am going to miss my mom's and granny's cooking but my job here is important also. I have to provide a sense of family for everybody here that can't go home for the holidays. That's what culinary specialist do, we create memories and family through food and that's what we are here for."
Busby-Parham has built a style for himself as a self-starter and true professional in and out of uniform.
"Busby-Parham is a great Soldier, he is so calm and collect in his thought process that sometimes I forget that he is new to this profession," said Staff Sgt. Jesse Mitchell, assistant manager at the Sustainer Grill.
"He is definitely a Soldier who has had a professional upbringing. I can tell by the way he handles himself on and off duty that he is a true leader. I have never seen Busby-Parham in any situation that will discredit his team. He is definitely a team player and shows that everyday by his work ethic," said Mitchell.
All great personalities are attributed to someone who helped mold and influence our lives. The same analogy is true for Busby-Parham.
"My grandmother taught me how to cook and this holiday season I'm going to try to introduce some southern style into these cakes and pies," he said Busby-Parham.
"I am so proud of my grandson I don't know what else to say," said Alfreda Parham, the grandmother of Pfc. Busby-Parham, and also an Ensley resident.
"Although I am going to miss my grandson this holiday season, I know he is serving for the greater good. His granddaddy was a Soldier and Nicholas followed in his footsteps. Nicholas is not a follower he is a leader. Out of all the men in my family who will be successful he is up there near the top, and that is very honorable. I am proud that he is representing our family so well over there in Korea," she said.
Busby-Parham vows to make this assignment as memorable as possible.
"I am just taking this tour one day at a time and improving in my profession daily. That's one of the best things I have learned about being in Korea. I am already away from home so I might as well learn to perfect my job with distractions. There is so much more to do in Korea than what meets the eye. I just want to focus on improving myself, my peers and the people around me," he concluded.
Busby-Parham will serve eight months with the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command in Daegu, South Korea, before moving on to his next assignment.