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AL ASAD, Iraq ? Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Parrish D. Walker, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) religious-program specialist, was selected as the 2007 I Marine Expeditionary Force Senior Sailor of the Year. Parrish will now go on to compete for senior sailor of Marine Forces Pacific.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jessica N. Aranda

Sailor recognized by I MEF

13 Feb 2008 | Lance Cpl. Jessica N. Aranda

A religious-program specialist attached to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing was recently named the 2007 I Marine Expeditionary Force Senior Sailor of the Year.

 Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Parrish D. Walker was selected among the sailors attached to 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Logistics Group and 3rd MAW. Overall, Parrish beat out all the petty officers from four different Marine Corps Installations.

 “I was shocked when I found out,” said Walker. “Honestly, I didn’t realize the significance of the award until I started receiving so many congratulatory emails.”

 As a religious-program specialist, Walker’s duties include administrative work, as well as serving as the chaplain’s personal security.

 “He is without a doubt the best petty officer I have ever worked with,” said Navy Cmdr. Bob Freiberg, 3rd MAW (Forward) chaplain. “When they made him, the Lord broke the mold. There is definitely no one like him.”

 Walker’s high moral character sets him apart both personally and professionally, explained Freiberg.

 During his 18-year career, Walker has participated in Operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom. The Decatur, Ga., native is currently serving his fourth deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

 In his free time, Walker coaches two youth-basketball teams and frequently volunteers at fundraisers and homeless shelters in the San Diego area. His dedication to supporting these types of events earned him the Military Outstanding Service Medal in 2002.

 “My love for people is what keeps me going,” explained Walker.

 While deployed, the sailor says he is focusing on executing all assignments to the best of his ability and maintaining his physical fitness.

 “He is very humble as a leader and he takes care of his junior Marines and sailors,” said Navy Chief Petty Officer Brian Domino, 3rd MAW (Fwd.) command master chief. “He deserved to win and I am looking forward to seeing him excel in his career.”

 Walker’s nomination package will be submitted to Marine Forces Pacific, where he will compete for senior sailor of the Pacific region.