Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Power Triumph Games Feature Area Navy Vet

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Power Triumph Games Feature Area Navy Vet

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Daraskevich

Brett Parks doesn't know how much longer he'll be able to compete at an elite level, but for now he's working as hard as he can to squeeze out every ounce of ability left in his body.

He flies from Jacksonville to Oklahoma City for about a week every month to train for the 2020 Paralympic Games and recently completed the 2016 Power Triumph Games. He also tours the country telling his story of getting shot and losing most of his right leg after trying to stop an armed robbery.

The 37-year-old veteran and father of three is still perfectly healthy for someone with such a severe injury, but the time away from his children is getting harder as they get older.

"There are some things I have missed with my children," Parks said. "When I'm gone there's a hole in my heart, and it's not filled until I come home and give them hugs and kisses."

His oldest son is 5, the youngest is less than a year and his daughter is 3. Parks said his oldest loves replaying televised competitions so he can watch his father push his body to the limit.

Parks has been an adaptive sports athlete ever since he recovered from the 2012 shooting.

"For the past four years now, I've been on the TV or in the paper pretty constant, and it's always a thrill for me ... I'm just surprised that anyone cares," Parks said.

The whole family will get a chance to watch him compete in the new Triumph Games that will air on CBS Sports Network beginning Monday at 9 p.m. It continues for three straight Mondays before the finale on Saturday, Nov. 19, on CBS.

Parks said he's not planning any big watch parties.

"It's one of those things that I just want to be with my family and watch it with my family," said Parks, who was not allowed to disclose how he fared.

He is one of 10 wounded veterans who met for the competition this summer at the U.S. Military Academy in New York with a chance to win $50,000. Parks said they were all fierce competitors, but they also rooted for each other because they've all experienced similar setbacks in life. …

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