A Sailor’s Story – From Guarding the Coast to Defending the Gates
Seaman Recruit Michael Parker graduates from United
States Coast Guard basic training, Cape May, NJ.
Rather than attending college, which would have
added a financial burden on my parents, I decided to
join the military during my senior year of high school,
after the plant where my father worked was closed. I
chose the Coast Guard because my youngest sister’s
boyfriend was a member.
The Journey Begins
My first duty station, after bootcamp was Key West,
FL; Search and Rescue/Law Enforcement in the
Caribbean Ocean. After almost 3 years in the
Caribbean, it was off to Radioman’s School in
Petaluma, CA, to become a communications
Clearwater, Florida 1986
Upon graduation from Radioman’s school, I
was sent back to Florida, where I fell in love
with a beautiful young woman from nearby St.
Petersburg, FL named Kimberly Lambert, a
semi-professional singer. We met in January
and was married in November that year.
Between our marriage and my retirement in
2007, our family grew, and there were many
adventures, and changes along the way.
October 2018 – Invictus
Eleven years after retirement, I found a home with
Invictus, a company where the ethic and ethos of
the military is married with the corporate world.
The since of mission focus and family I have found
with Invictus is the highest I have found in my
corporate career. Here, service to the customer is
matched only by the care shown for every person in
Their love, respect and devotion to the country, and the mission matched mind from the start.
In January 2019, while looking for a new office space in the Hampton Roads area, I found the
flag show here, badly torn, and abandoned. I took possession of it to ensure it was retired with
the honor and respect the flag should receive.
March 2019 – Honor
Without advanced notice to Invictus
headquarters staff, I decided to conduct a
ceremony to retire the flag, the military way,
during the open house dedication of the new
Hampton Roads Office. Moments before the
open house was to begin, I notified my
Program Manager John Grantz, and our CEO
Jim Kelly of my plans for the program, and
without hesitation, they were all in. That was
the moment that I knew I had found a home.
That was the moment that I truly became a
The Next Generation
Nowadays, a new generation stands the watch over
America. Among them is our oldest daughter, Technical
Sergeant Aslyn Parker, U.S. Air Force. Together, we
Defend The Gates!