Meet the Parks Family

Parks Family

The Parks family, of Council Bluffs, had one of their best Christmas seasons ever as 2011 drew to a close.

They don't mind crowding on one couch to cheer on the Huskers but watching their favorite team isn't the only thing the kids are excited about. Their dad Ryan surprised them and came home from serving in Afghanistan.

Ryan says, “Only three of us put in for Christmas and I lucked out and got it.”

Ryan has been serving in the military for almost 15 years. He's been deployed six times. While he's gone, his wife Stacey keeps busy.

She says, “Alyssa's in dance. Logan played football."

But this year has been even busier for this family. Remember that hail storm back in August? The Parks family does.

Stacey says, “With the hail storm, it's been a lot more that I've had to do, calling to get bids, because we got hit pretty hard.”

Ryan says things like this make it even tougher to be away.

“I like to be the problem-solver at home," he said. But he does everything he can to stay in touch with his kids.

Alyssa said, “We Skyped with him a couple of times and he calls. We do Facebook."

“They always ask about my day, and I say my day was boring,” Ryan tells us. “Tell me about your day. How was school?"

Ryan heads back to Afghanistan soon but he's thankful for these moments. And for the fact he gets to watch the Huskers.

He says, “Logan kinda went Texas for a while but we're bringing him back around."

Logan sorts it out this way. “When the Huskers are playing Texas I like Nebraska. But when the Longhorns aren’t facing Nebraska, I like the Longhorns."

We’re going to be sharing the stories of area military families here on Heartland Homefront on the first Tuesday of each month. The families featured in our coverage will each receive a $250 grocery gift card. If you would like to nominate a family for consideration, click here.

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