Paul Russell Parker III
Paul Russell Parker III (born December 1, 1982) is an American author of thriller, fantasy, poetry, and non-fiction travel & photography books. He writes travel articles for his website as he has visited over 15 different countries such as Canada, Belize, Guatemala, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Bahrain, Kuwait, The United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Iraq to name a few. He also lived in four of those countries. He is an avid photographer.
His Warden Series thriller novels are based on the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, which he participated in as an active duty Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. His poetry book is a series of poems that he wrote after he came back from the War in Iraq, as he had turned to writing for therapeutic reasons. His Crystals of The Enchantment Tree series is a fantasy series based on a camp fire tale his eldest daughter told the family while eating s’mores over a backyard bonfire. His foray into non-fiction stems from his love of travel & photography. He has published a gift book about the Cape Lookout Lighthouse in North Carolina, a gift book about Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse in South Carolina, and plans on writing several more travel books.
Parker was born on December 1, 1982 on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California. His father, Paul Russell Parker Jr, was a career United States Marine from America who retired at the rank Master Gunnery Sergeant. Parker’s mother, Zenaida Parker (nee Enteria) was a homemaker from the Philippines. He has two sisters.
Having been born in a military family, Parker moved quite often as a child. After living in Oceanside for a year as a newborn, Parker moved with his family to Yokosuka, Japan because his father was stationed aboard the USS Blue Ridge for a year. After that tour of duty was over, the Parker family moved back to Oceanside where he attended three different elementary schools. At the age of ten, Parker’s father received orders and moved the family to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Parker attended an elementary school in Jacksonville, and a middle school and a high school aboard Camp Lejeune until the completion of his junior year of high school. The Parker family moved once again when Parker was a rising senior to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California. After graduating high school with honors, Parker enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.
Career and Education
United States Marine Corps
In 2000, at the age of 17 and during his senior year of high school, Parker enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a contract Private First Class (E-2). Other than his rank, his contract only guaranteed that he’d have a military occupational specialty (MOS), or job, in either the electrician or the communications fields. After he received his high school diploma, he shipped off to recruit training with the 1st Recruit Training Battalion at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California.
He turned 18 in 2000 while on leave after graduating Marine Corps boot camp. Parker was then assigned to the Marine Combat Training Battalion at the School of Infantry-West aboard Camp Pendleton, California to train as a rifleman. There, he found out that his MOS was 2531; he was to a be a Field Radio Operator. Upon successful completion of the School of Infantry, Parker was sent to the Marine Corps Communication-Electronic School aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California in 2001 where his MOS changed from 2531 to 0621.
There, Parker graduated in the top three of his class as a Field Radio Operator, and was selected to attend a carry on course to be an 0622 Multi-channel Equipment Operator. Parker was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal (E-3) before the completion of this course, and received orders to the 2nd Marine Division aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina after graduating in early May 2001.
Parker was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division’s Headquarters Battalion, Communications Company, MUX Platoon in mid May 2001. While with the 2nd Marine Division, Parker spent most of his time in the field supporting the communication systems of the different Infantry Regiments and the Artillery Regiment of the Division. In late 2002, he on-the-job trained on a new satellite telecommunication radio called the SMART-T (Secure Mobile Anti-jamming Reliable Tactical- Terminal) and picked up the 0627 Satellite Communications Operator MOS. He was then temporarily assigned duty to the 1st Marine Division in the last few weeks of 2002.
In January 2003, Lance Corporal Parker arrived with three other Marines to Camp Commando in Kuwait to support the 1st Marine Division in what was supposed to be a temporary field operation that grew into the buildup for the 2003 Invasion of Iraq portion of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was assigned to the 1st Marine Division’s Headquarters Battalion, Communications Company, MUX Platoon, SMART-T section with one of the three Marines he arrived with. There, he and his teammate were assigned to the 1st Marine Division Forward, sometimes referred to as the Jump, Jump Headquarters, Division Forward, or Forward Command.
On March 21, 2003, the Division Forward crossed the Line Of Departure and over the DMZ with Regimental Combat Team-5, comprised mainly of the 5th Marine Regiment (Infantry) into Iraq’s South Rumaliyah Oilfields. From there, the Division Forward often found itself convoying under fire with the 1st Marine Tank Battalion, 3rd or 1st Marine Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalions, or with RCT-5 (5th Marine Regiment) to stay forward of the Division to ensure that communications within 1st Marine Division were always up and running as the Division Main headquarters command moved.
Parker witnessed Major General James N. Mattis; then the Division Commander of 1st Marine Division, promote Colonel John F. Kelly; then the Division’s Assistant Division Commander, to Brigadier General near the South Rumaliyah Oilfields on the 1st day of the Invasion. Parker and the Division Forward participated in the battles of the South Rumaliyah Oilfields, Nasiriyah, the Hantush Airfield in Ad Diwaniyah, the cloverleaf intersection in Ad Diwaniyah, Al Aziziyah, An Numaniyah, the cordon of Baghdad, and the capture of Baghdad. The Division Forward secured their section of the Paramilitary training base at the Rasheed Military Complex in southeast Baghdad on April 8, 2003.
In mid April 2003, Parker and the Division Forward were assigned to a newly formed Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) called Task Force Tripoli, commanded by General John F. Kelly after the fall of Baghdad. This newly minted force was historic, as it was the first ever Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) Regiment in Marine Corps history. Task Force Tripoli also has the honor of being the Marine Corps unit whom conducted the farthest inland push ever made in any of the Marine Corps’s prior campaigns since its creation.
The Task Force was comprised of 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, the Division Forward, infantry elements from 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment (Infantry), elements from 11th Marine Artillery Regiment, the Direct Air Support Center-Forward, and elements from Combat Service Support Battalion-10.
Task Force Tripoli’s objective was to secure Kirkuk, but when it fell into coalition hands, the Task Force instead set its focus on Tikrit. Tikrit was the last hold out of Saddam Hussein’s regime, and is considered to be his hometown; a possible hiding place of his as he was not found in Baghdad prior to this time.
On the fight up, seven US Army Prisoner’s of War were rescued by the Task Force in Samarra. Five soldiers from the 507th Maintenance Company who were captured in Nasiriyah on March 23, and two Apache Longbow helicopter pilots from the 1-227 Helicopter Attack Battalion who were shot down and captured in Karbala on March 24. The Commanding Officer of the Communications section used Parker’s SMART-T to inform General Mattis of the successful rescue of the American prisoners. After the rescue, the Task Force captured Tikrit and held it until they were relieved in place by the US Army’s 4th Infantry Division a week later. Parker and Task Force Tripoli were sent to Ad Diwaniyah for stabilizing operations, but the Task Force was soon disbanded.
Parker remained in Diwaniyah in May, but returned to Camp Matilda, Kuwait a few weeks later to support the retrograde of United States Marine Corps forces leaving Iraq. After the retrograde was complete, Parker and his team were sent back to the 2nd Marine Division in Camp Lejeune in June 2003.
While back in Camp Lejeune, Parker was promoted to Corporal (E-4) with a year left on his four year contract. During this last year, Parker went through months of physical therapy and other rehabilitations to treat injuries he suffered during his tour in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The lifelong effects of these ailments were the deciding factor in his decision to leave the Marine Corps when his four year contract ended.
College and career after the Marine Corps
After leaving active duty in August 2004, Parker was promoted to Sergeant (E-5) in the Individual Ready Reserve. His time in the IRR would end in March 2008. After the active portion of his contract ended in August 2004, Parker enrolled in Coastal Carolina Community College in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He graduated with honors in 2006 with an Associates in Arts degree.
Parker then transferred into the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2006 until 2007. In the summer of 2007, he was selected to become an Intern with the United States Department of State. He was assigned to the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and sent to the Fraud Prevention Unit in the Consular Agency at the US Embassy in Manila, Philippines. There he met his wife, and decided to take a break from college to pursue a career.
From 2007 until 2014, Parker held several military and commercial satellite telecommunication jobs with different military defense industry companies on contracts to the Department of Defense. His jobs led him to working in Iraq, Oman, and Qatar during this time frame. Parker also married his wife during this time, and they had two children who accompanied them to Oman and Qatar. Knowing that he would eventually return to the United States to raise their ever growing family, Parker re-enrolled in the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to finish his senior year, and graduated Cum Laude in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice and a Minor in Psychology.
In early 2014, Parker and his family returned to his home in North Carolina so he could pursue a career as an Author, and to expand his social media presence. He also works in the education field as an educator.
Currently, Parker is an author, blogger, book reviewer, travel article writer, travel photographer, and vlogger. He operates his social media presence under the pseudonyms: PRP3 The Author, prp3theauthor, PRP3 The Author Media, and PRP3 The Author Media TV. His hashtags are #prp3theauthor, #prp3theauthormedia, and #prp3theauthormediaTV.
Parker graduated high school and community college with Honors. He is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and graduated university Cum Laude.
His military awards include two Meritorious Masts, a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, a National Defense Service Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, an Iraq Campaign Medal with 2 bronze campaign stars, a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, a Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, and a Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon.
He also earned a Tan Belt and Gray Belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. He earned an Expert Rifle Marksmanship Badge and a Sharpshooter Pistol Marksmanship Badge.
Parker’s Warden Series is comprised of five thrillers; All In: The Globe Trot Shuffle, Cash Me Out: Life and Death in Paradise, The Buildup to Operation Intense Freedom, Run The Table: Operation Intense Freedom, and The Aftermath of Operation Intense Freedom.
The series is mostly based on his real life experiences during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. A US Marine and his team find a cache of hidden US currency in one of the Iraqi dictator’s palaces. The team decides to keep the money, and develops a plan to stash it and retrieve it at a later time. They do that, and conduct a dangerous global journey to make good on their find. They eventually find themselves on an island where they are pitted against an organized criminal group.
The series was supposed to be two books long, but there were many requests that Parker expand on the war story part of All In: The Globe Trot Shuffle. Readers wanted to know what the characters went through during their whole combat deployment. Parker wrote The Buildup to Operation Intense Freedom, Run The Table: Operation Intense Freedom, and The Aftermath of Operation Intense Freedom as a prequel to the first two novels. These three books tell the story of what the characters went through before their combat deployment, their whole war tour, and their return home from the war zone. It almost mirrors Parker’s real life experience during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq with the 1st Marine Division Forward.
Crystals of The Enchantment Tree series
Parker’s Crystals of The Enchantment Tree series is of the fantasy genre, and currently has one novel completed in it. The Sambac Crystal and The Stolen Kingdom was developed from a short story that his eldest daughter told him during a s’more making session over a bonfire in the backyard. Parker decided to expand the short story into a series for his daughter as a way to foster her love of reading.
The series is about a kingdom that was taken over by an evil sorcerer using magic and a powerful crystal. His evil forces wreak havoc on the villages of the kingdom, and a group of friends rise up to oppose him. The rebellion is perilous, but the friends have no other option. Giving up or submission means death to all that they know and love.
An interesting note is that Parker paid homage to his Filipino heritage while writing this series. Many place names are based on different parts of the Philippines, and the character surnames are Filipino language words. He also based other elements of the story on North Carolina, such as place names in the kingdom.
Parker’s first book about travel; Cape Lookout Lighthouse, is based on the main feature of the Cape Lookout National Seashore in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. It was made to be a coffee table book, something people could buy to commemorate their trip or to be used as gifts. It discusses the history of lighthouses, the history of lighthouses in North Carolina, the history of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, facts about the lighthouse, and the future of lighthouses.
His second travel guide contains the same general concepts as the first book, and is called Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse; a lighthouse located in Charleston, South Carolina.
Parker’s foray into poetry; My Book of Poetry: Select Poems by an Iraq War Veteran, stems from his experience dealing with the after effects of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. He was 21 years old when he wrote the poems, and he was going through a tumultuous period of his life, so writing became his refuge. Parker published the poems in 2018, and did not edit or alter them. He wanted to show the world his mindset during this trying time, and what kind of things go through a Veteran’s mind after coming home from war.
Parker married Lore Ann Fe Parker at the Manila City Hall in 2008. She currently works in the nursing industry at a hospital in North Carolina. The Parker’s have four children; two daughters and two sons, who are elementary aged or younger and are heavily involved in youth sports. His elementary aged children are students in a Spanish Immersion program in their elementary school, and speak Spanish at an advanced level. Parker speaks intermediate Spanish and beginner’s Tagalog, while his wife is fluent in Tagalog and English.
He is an avid sports fan, and his favorite sports team is the Los Angeles Chargers. He enjoys playing Fantasy Football, and makes vlogs to help beginners learn how to play. One of his favorite past times is playing golf. Parker also cares deeply about Veterans, Veteran Issues, and disability issues Veterans received during their military service. He encourages other Veterans to apply to the Veterans Administration to attain treatment that they are entitled to due to their military injuries.
Parker and his family are often found traveling. Traveling is a passion of his that he in turn uses for his travel articles and travel photography. He and his family have visited and or lived in almost six different countries together, and have traveled extensively throughout the eastern portion of the United States. Their favorite pastime is hiking forest trails in North Carolina, visiting the Outer Banks, and going to the beaches of North Carolina’s Crystal Coast.
Year Title Publisher ISBN-13 Pages
2016 All In: The Globe Trot Shuffle PRP3 The Author Media 978-1530529261 364
2016 Cash Me Out: Life and Death in Paradise PRP3 The Author Media 978-1533185563 294
2016 The Buildup to Operation Intense Freedom PRP3 The Author Media 978-1537271552 104
2016 Run The Table: Operation Intense Freedom PRP3 The Author Media 978-1539563051 384
2016 The Aftermath of Operation Intense Freedom PRP3 The Author Media 978-1541395176 162
2017 The Sambac Crystal and The Stolen Kingdom PRP3 The Author Media 978-1545396582 214
2018 Cape Lookout Lighthouse PRP3 The Author Media 978-1721896165 60
2018 My Book of Poetry: Select Poems by an Iraq War Veteran PRP3 The Author Media 978-1729006658 49
2019 Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse PRP3 The Author Media 978-1691881291 54