Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Insurance paid special tribute to U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Kevin Parke during the Packers-Cardinals game for Operation Fan Mail.
Kevin grew up in Spring Lake Park, Minn., and his late mother was from Milltown, Wis. He served as an explosive ordnance disposal technician for the 96th Explosive Ordnance Flight, 96th Civil Engineer Group at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
In 2003, Kevin joined the Air Force and was soon deployed to the Bargam Air Base in Afghanistan. While deployed, he was awarded his second Air Force Commendation Medal and an Army Achievement Medal for his accomplishments.
Kevin’s most recent deployment was to the Helmand Province in Afghanistan, where he was a part of the 32nd Georgian Battalion. His three-person team disarmed 78 IEDs, performed 45 post-blast analyses after IED detonations, and engaged enemy forces. During his missions, his team was the target of IED explosions on three separate occasions while traveling in armored transport vehicles. He sustained casualties, including a traumatic brain injury, a herniated disc in his back, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Kevin received multiple awards for his service, including two Purple Hearts. He returned home in December 2010.
Accompanying Kevin to the game were his father, Kent, his uncle, Lloyd Thorsbakken, and his friend, Cole Traynor.