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Marine Sgt. Harvey Parkerson III, 27, Oceanside; Dies in Iraq

August 29, 2004|Wendy Thermos | Times Staff Writer

Harvey Parkerson III had two very different roles in his life. He was the battle-toughened Marine thoroughly dedicated to serving in a war zone. And he was the tender, doting dad who sent his wife a stream of love letters from Iraq.

"He said he had a job to do," said his wife, Amanda. "He felt like he was making a difference. But he saw it as an honor and not just a job."

The 27-year-old Marine Corps sergeant was killed Aug. 18 in action in Najaf, Iraq, the Department of Defense said. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 4th Regiment, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Pendleton.

When he was off duty or on leave, Parkerson couldn't get enough of his two sons, 11-month-old Harvey Parkerson IV and 6-year-old Matthew (from a previous relationship).

Parkerson, of Oceanside, Calif., had planned to make a career in the Marine Corps. "It was a dream of his since he was a little boy. He loved the military life," his wife said, adding that his father served as a Marine during the Vietnam War.

It was Parkerson's second tour of duty in Iraq. He served there from January to September 2003, coming home a day after his son Harvey was born. Parkerson's battalion was redeployed there in May.

"He wrote me a lot of love letters, beautiful letters, all the time," said his wife, whom he married in November 2002. "He didn't [write] about the conditions in Iraq. He never complained."

Parkerson was born in Arizona and lived in the Marysville area of Northern California. He graduated from high school in Orland, Calif., where he was on the campus wrestling team, his wife said.

After high school, he had to wait for a lingering wrestling injury to mend before he could join the Marines in February 1999. "He had to apply several times, but he couldn't wait," his wife said. "He was so dedicated to what he did. My husband is my hero and my son's hero."

In addition to his wife and children, Parkerson is survived by his father and stepmother, Harvey and Nancy Parkerson Jr. of Marysville; his mother and stepfather, Lori and Tony Moreno of Orland; two brothers; and two sisters. Burial will be at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma, Calif.

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