Husband to Elizabeth, dad to Patrick and Luke, Patrick Christian "Chris" Parks proudly calls Nashua, New Hampshire, Ward 8, home. How does a southerner end up planting roots in the Live Free or Die state? Well, there’s a story.
BORN AND RAISED IN ALABAMA
The youngest boy of two older sisters, Patrick Christian Parks was born and raised in Birmingham (Hoover – Bluff Park), Alabama. Following the southern practice of calling a person by their middle name, Joanne and Larry Parks decided to call their youngest and only living son, Chris.
Baby Chris was a bit of a surprise. Both of his sisters were in college when he was born. This meant that he grew up getting all the love and attention of an only child, but also with the freedoms that come with being the youngest in the family. His parents both worked, his father a hospital lab technician and his mother a secretary for Alabama power. While his parents always provided for him, it was not until he was much older that Chris realized how little they had. From a young age, Chris always wanted to get out and experience the world.
Chris’ high school years were typical for a young boy. Playing sports, getting into mischief with friends, having fun. It was also during these years that he picked up the trade skillset of a butcher at Mr. P’s Deli, a family-owned business since 1975 in Bluff Park. Chris of course learned how to perfectly cut and handle various types of meat. His time after school and over summers at Mr. P’s also taught him to work with and for others with excellence, even through trying scenarios. Although not specifically part of the day-to-day operations, peripherally he learned the importance of cash flow, inventory, and all the responsibilities that come with owning a small business.
Although Chris’ last years at home were filled with love and joy, they were also filled with uncertainty as he watched his mother live in pain as she pushed through the effects of scleroderma. Tragically in 2000, the day before Chris was to move to Auburn University, Joanne Langston Parks moved on to be with Jesus.
AUBURN STUDENT AND UNITED STATES MARINE*
Chris’ first year at Auburn was a struggle. Dealing with the loss of his mother, Chris was also navigating being stuck in a major that did not interest him. Then on September 11, 2001, sitting in Foy Student Union, Chris watched in shock and anger as the United States was attacked by Al Qaeda. This propelled Chris at 20 years old to enlist in the United States Marine Corps the following summer. In September 2002 Pvt. Parks graduated from boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. He then completed infantry school at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, went back to Auburn, began fraternity rush with Phi Kappa Tau, and in the middle of his pledge ship in 2003, he deployed with Lima 3/23 deployed to Iraq in 2003 for 6months.
In 2005 although not the highest performing student, Chris was finally enrolled in a major that he wanted, political science. It was in Dr. Theodore Becker’s “Politics in the Media” class that Chris and Elizabeth’s paths officially crossed. Since they were in the same class, riding the Tiger Transit on the same route, Elizabeth approached Chris and his friend simply to introduce herself. It was not love at first sight, but over time as Elizabeth invited him to study groups and their paths crossed more and more, a version of dating commenced.
It was the summer of 2005, new to Auburn’s campus, Facebook required users have a .edu email address and Chris found himself headed to Fort Hood, Texas for his annual two weeks of training. Elizabeth was heading to Washington, DC for a summer internship. She asked Chris what their official relationship status would be as they parted ways for the summer. It was that summer that they became Facebook official.
SECOND LIEUTENANT TO MAJOR, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
December 2006 Chris graduated from Auburn University and headed to Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico Virginia. He graduated from OCS in March 2007 and received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. No rest for the weary, Chris immediately began The Basic School which was overlapped by the Infantry Officer Course (IOC) also in Quantico.
Although Elizabeth was living and working in Washington, DC at the time of his commission, the next three and a half years the young couple would find themselves navigating a long-distance relationship living a part as Chris was stationed in Twentynine Palms, California, deployed to Iraq (2008-2009), deployed to Afghanistan (2010) stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, deployed 2017. There was a short time from 2011 – 2015 that they both lived in Arlington, VA while Chris was an instructor at The Basic School in Quantico, VA and attending Expeditionary Warfare School.
Chris’ time in the United States Marine Corps was valuable, but as he continued to promote in rank and receive key billets putting him on a path to higher command, the focus of his role began to change from leading Marines to more of an office role. Unhappy with the trajectory of the United States Marine Corps as a whole and frustrated that in a system of rank there was only so much power that he had to change things, Chris began contemplating getting out.
Knowing that the trajectory he was expected to follow was to get his 20 years and retire made considering leaving the USMC a difficult decision. However, getting a retirement was never the reason he joined the Marine Corps. Fighting and leading Marines, were the reasons he joined.
In 2017, Chris living in North Carolina and Elizabeth in Arlington, VA, Elizabeth gave birth to their first son, Patrick. Chris was thankfully there for the birth of his first son, but two weeks later, Chris deployed on the 24th MEU and spent most of his time in various locations in the Middle East and Africa. This experience solidified Chris’ decision to explore career options outside the USMC. Through the well respected and highly esteemed Cameron Brooks, a military officer recruiting firm, Chris agreed to join their hiring conference in January 2018. The only expectation was to land with a company and in a role that he was excited about, location was secondary.
Just like that, Chris and Elizabeth’s plan to stay in the Washington, DC area changed to moving to Sacramento, California for Chris’ new job as a territory sales manager in northern California with a food packaging manufacturer in March 2018. After a short 10 months, Chris had an opportunity to apply for a promotion and after only 11 months in northern California, Elizabeth and Chris began the cross-country drive for the second time in less than a year headed to their new home of Nashua, New Hampshire.
NASHUA, NEW HAMPSHIRE 03062
The main requirement for Chris’ new district sales manager role was that he live in New England and close to a major airport. Thanks to various internet searches, Chris found Nashua. At the time, there was a chance that Elizabeth’s job would require her to commute to Boston. With that in mind, Nashua kept coming up in the searches as a reasonable commute to Boston, but more importantly a great place to live and raise a family.
PARKS FOR NASHUA, ALDERMAN WARD 8
Chris always had an interest in running for office but did not have an actual plan or timeline to do so. Weeks into the initial pandemic-related closures, his boys’ daycare closed permanently laying off teachers and employees unexpectedly. During the fall of 2020, he had seen enough.
His boys had moved to private school and had been in school all year, yet the public schools were not open. Seeing parents and students at the mercy of the public-school systems unwillingness to lead and figure out how to meet in person. Seeing struggling small business owners whose livelihood was their business being fined for not enforcing a mask mandate. Seeing the local government want to bring in a curfew and close businesses at 9:30 p.m. Yeah, because COVID only comes out at 9:31 (sarcasm). The continued poor decisions, lack of leadership, lack of intelligence, and lack of competency forced Chris to stand up. With all of this fueling him, he gathered the required signatures and put himself on the ballot, Patrick C. Parks for Nashua Alderman Ward 8.
*The United States Marine Corps decorations, medals, badges, citations, and campaign ribbons awarded or authorized (all periods of service).
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (w/1 star), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (w/Combat ‘V’), Combat Action Ribbon (Afghanistan), Combat Action Ribbon (Iraq), Presidential Unit Citation-Navy, Navy Unit Commendation, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (w/1 star), Iraq Campaign Medal (w/2 stars), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (4), Armed Forces Reserve Medal (w/‘M’ device), NATO Medal ISAF
Questions about where Patrick "Chris" on the issues? Contact him: 205.369.1612 (phone call or text) or [email protected]
Voter Guides and Candidate Questionnaires:
- League of Women Voters - Greater Nashua Voter Guides: https://bit.ly/3msSb7E
- The Nashua Patch Candidate Profile: https://patch.com/new-hampshire/nashua/patrick-christian-chris-parks-nashua-ward-8-alderman-candidate
- The Nashua Telegraph Other Candidate Questionnaire publishes soon. The updated link will be provided.