Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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February 18, 2014

Saving Private Parham

(Continued)

At this point, Parham recalls that the commander was no longer capable of controlling anything, so he reacted quickly and did everything he could to get the commander's head down.

“He couldn't control anything, so I pulled him down, and I actually did something that I got an Article 15 for – I regret,” Parham said. “But I had to actually hit him and knock him down. That's against the rules. You don't ever hit an officer. But in that situation, it had to be done.”

Later on, Parham was commanded to go before the battalion commander and admit what he did. The commander told Parham that he did the right thing, but he still had to give him an Article 15.

“[It] wasn't too awful bad,” Parham said. “[It was] two-months restriction, which I wasn't going anywhere anyway, two months [without] pay, and then loss of one rank – from E4 to E3 – which didn't bother me that much because I knew I'd be right back up in a week or two because of all the losses that we would have.”

Fortunately for Parham, his commanding officer was relieved of his command and was replaced by an officer with more experience; however, Parham only got the chance to serve two weeks with this officer before acquiring “jungle rot” on his foot from unsanitary conditions. He was consequently sent back to receive medical aid.

“While I was gone for a few days, the commander decided to get another RTO, which was fine with me because I had done my two months of duty and it was time for somebody else to do theirs,” Parham said. “I remember having the surgery on my feet and they cut the nails off and cleaned it up. Funny story, I stood up and said, 'Sir,' to the surgeon, 'What do I do now?' – meaning do I go back to recover. He laughed and said, 'do you have a machete?'”

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