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Christmas Bureau Snapshot: ‘I’m still thankful’

Tue., Dec. 9, 2008, 9 p.m.

Harold Parker

Age: 57.

Lives in: Cheney.

I was born in San Diego and was enlisted in the Navy for eight years. I got in an accident and was burned over 67 percent of my body. I got out of the military and then worked odd jobs and then found out I had hepatitis C because of the treatment of the burns. And then I got diabetes later on in life, and I got to the point where in 2004, I could no longer work and had to apply for Social Security disability. These are my circumstances. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to work. I can’t work.

My life isn’t as good as it used to be. But I’m still thankful I survived. Life still has something out there for me. I don’t know what it is, but I’m waiting.

What gets me out of bed in the morning? My wife. She gets me out of bed at about 9 o’clock so we can take care of our dogs. We have three miniature dachshunds, and I just love them. There’s Wee Willie Weiner, Wee Wonka Weiner and Dobby the House Elf. Those little sweethearts are my emotional support. They keep me going between my doctor’s visits.

I appreciate our freedom in this country. The election season was very heated, but as long as we stay united as Americans, we’re still better off in the world.

My favorite Christmas as a child was when I was in San Diego and my parents got my brother and me cowboy outfits, including a guitar. It was 1956 or 1957. That morning my brother and I were both sitting on our front porch in our cowboy outfits, strumming away with our guitars, like we were Roy Rogers or something.

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