Lo­cal Heroes

Townsville Bulletin - - Text The Editor - by Emily Mac­don­ald emily. mac­don­ald@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

WAR­RANT Of­fi­cer Kevin ‘‘ Skeet’’ Parker has given 40 years’ ser­vice to the RAAF and now he’s go­ing through a tough time his mates are de­ter­mined to pay him back.

WOFF Parker, a re­servist with No 27 City of Townsville Squadron, was away in Syd­ney on pre­de­ploy­ment train­ing at the be­gin­ning of Fe­bru­ary ahead of a planned stint in the Mid­dle East.

How­ever a dou­ble tragedy struck while he was away with first Cy­clone Yasi caus­ing ex­ten­sive dam­age to his Al­li­ga­tor Creek prop­erty and then his beloved wife of al­most 29 years Pa­tri­cia Lee ‘‘ Bunny’’ Parker dy­ing the day be­fore his re­turn.

No 38 Squadron’s WOFF Dean Bas­tian has been close mates with WOFF Parker for 30 years and to­gether with WOFF Craig Smith, WOFF Glen King, SQNLDR Rex Kid­ner and a num­ber of oth­ers, they were de­ter­mined to help him get back on his feet.

They were also mo­ti­vated by their af­fec­tion for Bunny who was a reg­u­lar smil­ing face at the RAAF base.

Thanks to gen­er­ous do­na­tions from the Green­bank RSL sub­branch and the RAAF Wel­fare Trust Fund, friends from RAAF Base Townsville have started clear­ing away bro­ken trees, con­struct­ing a new drive­way and re­pair­ing the pens Skeet and Bunny used in their roles as long term vol­un­teer wildlife car­ers.

‘‘ Skeet has never been a per­son to ask for any­thing in his whole life,’’ WOFF Bas­tian said.

‘‘ But when Craig and I came out to visit him af­ter Bunny had passed away, we knew we had to do some­thing to help him in his time of grief.

‘‘ He couldn’t say no be­cause we’re his mates and we wouldn’t SUP­PORT­IVE: LAC Justin Mountey 38 SQN, Cpl Ja­son Graham 38 SQN, WOFF Craig Smith 38 SQN, WOFF DaEn Bas­tian 38 SQN, SQN LDR Rex Kid­ner 38 SQN, WOFF Kevin ’ Skeet’ Parker; WOFF Glen King 38 SQN, Cpl Leigh East­well 1AOSS Air­field En­gi­neers and LAC Kayne Jones also 1AOSS Air­field En­gi­neers

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