A Tribute to Parker Greene
by Major General Chad Franks,
Former 23d Wing Commander
In 1957 Martin Luther King, Jr., stated, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’” For the Airmen and families of Moody Air Force Base, that question was repeatedly answered for well over 40 years by Mr. Parker Greene.
Mr. Greene was a visionary leader who had friends at the highest levels of the United States government. He was a master at building relationships. He leveraged these relationships to ensure that not only did Moody Air Force Base remain a vital part of the Air Force, but more important that all Airmen, and their families, would have all they needed. It was because of these relationships that things got done, whether it was a new hangar to for the Air Force Base, or a new Child Development Center to help the families who support the mission.
Mr. Greene loved people and he did whatever it took to ensure they knew it. Whether it was the hard work of walking the halls of the Pentagon or the United States Capitol to ensure our nation’s leaders understood the value of Moody and its Airmen, or the enjoyable work of taking 30 random Airmen to lunch to show his appreciation, it was always about others. Mr. Greene didn’t care whether you were the youngest Airman at Moody or the most senior member of our government, you were equally important to him.
Mr. Greene is the only person ever to be awarded the Secretary of the Air Force Distinguished Public Service award. This is awarded to private citizens who have personally made a profound contribution on the National Level, and who represent substantial progress for the Air Force mission.
There will never be another Mr. Greene, but we can all learn from his example. He became synonymous with Moody Air Force Base and along with his wife, Dr. Lucy Greene, cultivated “Moody Missionaries” that would not only espouse the importance of the base, but, hopefully, become better husbands, wives, fathers and mothers because of the example they set.
As a military commander, your job is to take care of your people, and over my 30-year career, I have never seen a better example of what that meant.