Vietnam veteran’s wife reflects on late husband’s service as he enters Hall of Heroes

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - We're saluting our heroes throughout the week on WHNT News 19. It's leading up to the Madison County Military Heritage Commission's Hall of Heroes induction on Friday evening at the Von Braun Center.

Maj. Bernard Parr passed away in January following a battle with congestive heart failure. Soon, his name will live on forever in the hall of heroes. His wife, Clair, said her husband gave all he had, for as long as he had, to both the military and those he loved. Parr said her husband would be humbled by the award because, to him, bravery was just part of the job.

Mr. and Mrs. Parr celebrated 50 years of marriage last December.

"While he was home on Christmas break, December '66, is when we married in Baltimore," Parr remembered. "Then, he went to Fort Eustis, Virginia for maintenance in the helicopter and then he went to Vietnam.'

Maj. Parr completed two tours in Vietnam. He earned prestigious awards for his service, twice. The Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 'V' Device. Parr said she learned the story behind the Distinguished Flying Cross from her husband's friend and comrade.

"When he had finished test flying, they had come under enemy attack, the compound did and so they were very restricted in what they could do," Parr said about what earned Maj. Parr the Distinguished Flying Cross. "But, they had a mission the next day and so he was bound and determined the aircraft are going to be ready. He was out flying these helicopters in the midst of the attack."

"I never knew what that one was for," Parr said of the story behind the Air Medal."I don't really know, I just know that he did something spectacular."

This week, Major Parr will add one more accolade to his collection. He is an inductee into the hall of heroes this year.

"He would think that this was silly," Parr said. "He would say, 'I didn't do anything. I didn't do anything.'" But he did; they all did in their selfless sacrifice to our country's freedom.

Maj. Parr and his wife have three children together and four grandchildren.