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Interview With Shane Parker

Aired April 13, 2003 - 11:38   ET


LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Now, we're getting some more reaction now from family members who are just now beginning to get word about this, the big story of the morning, that being the release of these seven POWs. We're joined now on the telephone by Shane Parker, and, Shane, as I understand it, you are the brother of Private Patrick Miller, who's with the 507th Maintenance Company out of Ft. Bliss, Texas.

HARRIS: And you've gotten the word officially now?

PARKER: Yes, sir.

HARRIS: And your reaction?

PARKER: I have been crying most of the morning. I'm ready to see him. They said they have to do debriefing and everything, but he should be coming as soon as they get all of that done. I'm just happy.

HARRIS: Have you been watching the coverage all morning?

PARKER: No, I haven't. Believe it or not.

HARRIS: So when did you find out?

PARKER: My mom -- my brother called me this morning at 6:00 and told me what was going on. I guess my mom had called him this morning and told him, and he called me. I haven't watched TV since all of this started.

HARRIS: Why not? Did you not want to see it?

PARKER: Well, well, I don't know. I just -- it really upsets me to see Pat on TV. I turned it on one day, and as soon as I turned it on, he was on the TV, so I mean, that's part of the reason. I just didn't want to upset myself any more than I already was.

HARRIS: OK. I can understand that, however, I would think that now that you know the news is all positive and it's all good, you might want to see what he looks like now.

PARKER: Yeah, I talked to my mom and she said he looks really, really good. That he's not cut up or anything like that. She said he looks really good. HARRIS: So you guys have been burning up the phone lines between all of you, then.

PARKER: Our phones have been ringing off the hook.

HARRIS: Now, who have you been talking to and what is everybody saying right now?

PARKER: Everybody is just saying that they're glad that he's OK and that they can't wait to see him. Everybody wants to see him.

HARRIS: Did the Pentagon people tell you exactly when you will be able to see him?

PARKER: No, they said that they had to do the debriefing and everything, and then I'm not sure what will happen after that.

HARRIS: Now, were you at the home when the family liaison walked up and knocked on the door?

PARKER: What now?

HARRIS: Were you at home when the liaison from the Pentagon came to deliver the news?

PARKER: Actually, they told my mom, and then she called us. Because my mom lives in New Mexico.

HARRIS: Got you. Got you. And you're in Kansas, right?

PARKER: Right. Yes.

HARRIS: Valley Center, Kansas. Quite a ways away. What did she tell you that was like?

PARKER: Well, we were just -- we -- we were really upset, I mean at first. All we could do was pray, and with all the support that we've had from everybody, Valley Center has had -- if you guys ever came to Valley Center, man, you would be amazed. They started putting yellow ribbons out.

HARRIS: Where is Valley Center? Where exactly is Valley Center, Shane?

PARKER: Valley Center is about four miles north of Park City, northwest of Park City.

HARRIS: And that's in what part of Kansas?

PARKER: It is in the north part -- well, it's about seven miles north of Wichita.

HARRIS: So you are talking like north central Kansas then? OK, got you. And so, the town has been very supportive. What does he...

PARKER: Oh, yes. HARRIS: What's the last month been like there in that town?

PARKER: Well, everybody knows who I am now. I've had a lot of prayers from a lot of people. A lot of support from a lot of people. Like I say, if you go down meridian in Valley Center, there is yellow ribbons down, the whole street, tied to every tree down there. Every house, there is a lot of support.

HARRIS: When you go out today, I'm sure you're going to have a lot of pats on the back and you're going to have a lot of reaction coming in from around there in Valley Center. No doubt. What are you going to do to celebrate this kind of news?

PARKER: I don't know. I just want to see him. That's all. I just want to be able to touch him and see him and know that he's right there with us.

HARRIS: Are you going to get together with your mom? Is your whole family going to come together for this?

PARKER: Probably, yes. We'll probably do something together.

HARRIS: Well, you sure sound excited. And you sure sound happy.

PARKER: I am. I can't quit crying, but it's not the same tears as the first time.

HARRIS: You know what, and we are happy to hear that. We're glad for you. Shane Parker, congratulations to you, your mom and the rest of the family. All the best to you as you all get the good news about your brother Patrick Miller, private 1st class, serving with the 507th Maintenance Company out of Ft. Bliss, Texas.


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