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Marysville Air Force officer supplies those in need in Haiti

Air Force Capt. Dana R. Parker, 2nd Airlift Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, N.C., helped to prepare needed supplies that were shipped to Haiti after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake left tens of thousands of people without food, water and shelter. - Photo by Michael Tolzmann.
Air Force Capt. Dana R. Parker, 2nd Airlift Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, N.C., helped to prepare needed supplies that were shipped to Haiti after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake left tens of thousands of people without food, water and shelter.
— image credit: Photo by Michael Tolzmann.

POPE AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. — When a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated the island nation of Haiti, it was the daughter of a Marysville couple who stepped in to help rush medical supplies, food and water to the region.

Air Force Capt. Dana R. Parker, daughter of Steve and Vicki Parker of Marysville, is a pilot with the 2nd Airlift Squadron at Pope Air Force Base, N.C., who worked tirelessly to make sure the people of Haiti received the assistance they needed.

"Our crew flew supplies into Haiti and flight-tested an instrument approach that can be used to fly into the airport during inclement weather," said Parker, a class of 2000 graduate from Marysville-Pilchuck High School. "We also carried U.S. citizen evacuees out of Haiti."

During the relief mission, Parker helped deliver more than 50,000 gallons of water, 375,000 meals ready to eat, 700 container delivery systems for air deliveries, and 200 pallets of supplies to Haiti.

"The aid provided by us and other countries is critical for Haitians in need of supplies and support during this tragedy," said Parker, a 2004 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. "The death toll and suffering would be so much greater without the combined efforts of all of the nations providing relief. It was great to see differences put aside and people from several nations working side by side to help those in need. It's amazing to see what can be done when we all pull together."

Thanks to Parker and other service members, tens of thousands of people in Haiti were able to survive in the weeks following the earthquake. Helping make a difference is something she feels is the right thing to do.

"The U.S. is one of the most capable nations at providing aid and it's important we contribute to the betterment of others," Parker said. "We can make situations like this less desperate and increase regional stability."

Recent natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, the Pacific tsunami and the Haiti earthquake prove that Mother Nature rarely gives mankind a chance to prepare for her wrath, but for Parker and service members like her, helping pick up the pieces is always a short call away.

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