Skydiver Who Died Was Ft. Meade Soldier

August 04, 2009|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,

A skydiver who died in what police believe was an accident over the weekend was identified Monday as Command Sgt. Maj. Harry Parrish, 53, of Fort Meade.

An Army Reservist on active duty, Parrish was in charge of training for Army Reserves and Guard members in the 1st Army Division East at Fort Meade, according to Army spokeswoman Raina Williams. He was well-known at Fort Meade, as the division includes nine brigades east of the Mississippi River, and Fort Meade is the training site for most of them bound for Iraq, Afghanistan and other duties.

Among the former Marine's decorations were several for parachuting, and he trained people to jump, Williams said.

"This was his passion, skydiving. He met his wife doing this," Williams said.

The couple, who lived near Richmond, Va., wed in December and Deborah Parrish is pregnant, Williams said.

Virginia State Police Sgt. Thomas Molnar said Parrish was on a civilian training exercise about 40 miles east of Richmond, and was missing after he jumped from a plane about 7 p.m. Saturday. He was found Sunday. Police are investigating to find out what may have caused his death.

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