Eli Parker's Family Speaks Out

By Laurie Benedict



It's been four weeks since 21-year-old marine sergeant Eli Parker was killed in a roadside bomb attack in Iraq. Since then, his parents have been quietly grieving their loss -- until now.

New tonight: how faith is getting them through this most difficult time.

Donna and Renny Parker say their faith is what's helped them since their son was killed in Iraq earlier this month. Marine sergeant Eli Parker was brought home a week later, and the people of Camden honored their fallen hero.

“Just the respect, the silence, and the tears. It was quite moving, and we felt honored and privileged to have been a part of it," said Donna Parker.

The community of Camden will be coming together once again this week to honor Sgt. Eli Parker and others from Camden who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“I've always had respect for the veterans of all services at all times, but this really has put it in the limelight for me," said Renny Parker.

Renny served in the army during the Vietnam War.  Receiving his son's purple heart brought back familiar feelings.

“I brought my purple heart home," said Renny.

Eli's uncle is a marine veteran who planned on giving his nephew a special ring engraved with his name and where he served.

"And he didn't make it, so Jack decided to get the ring and give it to Renny at the funeral. So that was a very special gift that we'll treasure forever," said Donna.

Eli's parents say they're comforted knowing he was doing what he loved when he died.  They just hope his sacrifice is always remembered.

“Now with it coming home this close, I’m hoping that it does have an effect, because I like the flag. I think it's a good flag," said Renny.

They say their pride in America and their faith in god will continue giving them comfort.

“I will stick by with my Lord and just believe that he is faithful and he is still God," said Donna.

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