News

Harvard WWII veteran gets parade after National Veterans Golden Age Games wins

HARVARD – When Chester Parks came home to Harvard after winning two gold medals and a silver in the 30th annual National Veterans Golden Age Games, he was greeted by family and neighbors who had lined the streets to congratulate him.

The 88-year-old World War II veteran competed in three swimming events – the 25-yard freestyle, 50-freestyle and 25-backstroke – at the games Tuesday in Detroit.

“It was very competitive, and I enjoyed being with all the vets,” Parks said. “It was like being back in the Army.”

Parks said he was shocked when he received his three medals at the games, something he had been training for since April.

Parks came home wearing all three of his medals Wednesday night, his granddaughter Amanda Honea, who arranged the parade, said. She said Harvard police and Harvard Fire Protection District participated in the parade that ran down Northfield Avenue toward Parks’ home on Wildflower Lane.

“I was absolutely overwhelmed,” Parks said. “I was crying, the sirens were going, the horns were blowing, all the neighbors all over this whole subdivision were outside.”

Honea said the community support was incredible, and she’s very proud of her grandfather.

“He was so proud to do it and he went into it saying he was going to be No. 1, and he certainly came out No. 1,” Honea said.

“It’s a pretty incredible experience and something not many people get to say about their grandpa, so it’s very cool, and we’re very proud of him.”

Now that he’s not training, Parks said he will continue to swim for exercise, and go back to writing books in his free time.

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.