Miami Native Brett Parks Fights to Compete in Wounded Warrior Games UPDATE
Where he'll be September 30 through October 4, however, is still up for dispute. Parks participated this past weekend (June 4 to 7) in trials for the Wounded Warrior Games, which take place in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Each branch of the military is allotted a team of 45 members to compete in the various events. The trials have room for about 85 members, according to Parks, so only about half the participants will get to go.
As for his chances to make it, Parks doesn't hesitate when asked, though he does laugh. "Man, I don't want to sound arrogant," he says, "but I'm probably about 98 percent sure I'm going to make the team."
Parks admits he's better now than he was before the accident in many ways -- "I can appreciate things better; I can tell I have that air-is-sweeter-and-the-colors-are-more-brilliant thing," he says -- but he knows every time he succeeds and triumphs and people learn about his success, they also learn about what brought him here. And then they ask that damned question again.
So, do you regret trying to save that man?
"People ask me that all the time," he says. "They ask me, 'Was it worth it?' I actually did wrestle with that for a while. It's one thing to say something now, but when it's 3 in the morning and you haven't slept in two days because you're in so much pain, it's tough to assess it then. But a couple of months after it all happened, I decided -- of course it's worth it. Doing the right thing is always worth it, no matter the consequence. That's what I go by, because if I would have turned and looked away, I'd still be in some deep regret right now -- that I didn't stop and that I was the guy that turned the other way, and I didn't want to be that guy. Even though I lost a leg, a kidney, and a colon, man, I did the right thing, and I can lay my head down at night and know that I had the integrity and the character to stand up against what was wrong. I don't want to be known as the man that walked away, that turned the other way. I want to be known as the man that did the right thing when I was called to."
And indeed he will.
Sometime in the next two weeks, Parks will learn if he's made the team for the fifth-annual Wounded Warrior Games. We'll the update the post when we find out. In the meantime, check out his nonprofit called Second Shot Ministry.