Among the many jobs Col. Brandon D. Parker had Friday, rounding up his four children probably was not one he was expecting. But as a parent, he knows it’s part of the deal.
Parker, 43, is a family man, he said, as his four children pretended a stroller was a bomber and zoomed around the enormous 7th Bomb Wing hangar following the base’s command change ceremony.
It was Parker who was center stage earlier, taking over for another family man, Col. David M. Benson, at the top of Dyess’s command structure. While their parents stood at the front of a lengthy receiving line, the young children — Pierce, Ella, Reis and Gabrielle — needed to keep themselves occupied.
When your father’s an Air Force base commander, you pretend you’re flying jets, apparently. For his part, Parker recognized the energy having his family with him brought to the ceremony.
“There’s an energy there because the kids are so happy and youthful,” Parker said. “But, certainly, I think it resonates. People can connect with families.”
There was a lot of focus on family during the ceremony itself, before the children were allowed to cut loose with the stroller. Maj. Gen. Thomas A. Bussiere, Parker’s boss and commander of the 8th Air Force, laid out some of his expectations for his new West Texas base leader.
Chief among them? Care for the men and women serving below him and their families. The commander must be ready, Bussiere…