Thomas (“Tomy”) Parker was born in Wailuku, Hawaii and raised in Ronan, Montana. After graduating from Ronan High School in 2008, Tomy joined the United States Marine Corps as a rifleman. In September of 2010, Tomy deployed for his first and only time to Sangin, Afghanistan with the 3rd battalion 5th Marine Regiment.
In the late afternoon of December 2010, while on a foot patrol, Tomy stepped on an improvised explosive device resulting in the amputation of his right leg above the knee, his left leg at the hip, and all of the fingers on his left hand save his thumb. For the next 18 months, Tomy went through extensive rehabilitation to learn to live his life without his legs. He was medically retired from the Marine Corps in November, 2012.
Tomy returned to Montana where his hometown community rallied to welcome him home. He traveled throughout the U.S. inspiring people through public speaking but soon lost his own purpose in life and replaced it with drugs. This led him down the long dark road of substance abuse for the better part of a decade, ultimately resulting in him spending 18 months incarcerated. While incarcerated, Tomy turned his life around and found his purpose to push on once again.
Since then, he has gone on to become an adaptive athlete. He has competed in seven half-marathons and one full marathon. Tomy continues to push himself everyday with his training and has future goals of starting his own business with the help of Warrior Rising; as well as competing in larger scale marathons such as the Boston Marathon. Tomy also enjoys traveling, volunteering as a boxing coach at a local gym, helping others by continuing to shatter perceived limitations and stereotypes that disabled people “can’t do that”. Tomy’s unique ability to find light in darkness and find comedy in dim situations allows him to have a potentially greater impact on those to whom he speaks. In addition, because of his losses and full, albeit still young life, he can find common ground with people from any and every walk of life.