Written by Margaret Whitely Friday, 13 May 2011 00:00
The Illustrated News received a call from V/R SFC, Robert Barker, Marketing, NCOIC, stationed in Iraq with news that a resident of New Hyde Park, Allyson Parla, was stationed at the same base as a photojournalist and would we be interested in a telephone interview, which of course, we were.
Therefore, on Friday we received a call from Joint Base Balad in Iraq and had the pleasure of speaking with Sgt. Parla.
Sgt. Parla attended New Hyde Park Memorial High, then transferred to Carey High School in Franklin Square and graduated from there. After her graduation she attended Mt. St. Vincent College and while there, in 2001, she and her friend enlisted in the army.
“It was a real shock to my family and they tried to convince me not to go overseas, however, they soon realized that I was dedicated to this mission and have been very supportive ever since.”
At the outset she was stationed at Ft. Jackson in South Carolina and then at Ft. Lee in Virginia. She was deployed to Iraq in March of 2011.
While in Iraq, she is not only a photojournalist but is responsible for writing articles for the base internal newsletter.
Sgt. Parla’s 6-year-old son, Jared, is being cared for by her mom, Patricia, in New Hyde Park, where he attends the New Hyde Park Road School and is on the New Hyde Park Wildcats soccer team.
Sgt. Parla’s dad, Jim, is a former member of the New Hyde Park/Garden City Park Board of Education.
Sgt. Parla said that she will be stationed at Balad for as long as needed and hopes to return to the states by the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012.
When asked about the reaction to the death of Osama bin Laden, she said that so far there seems to be no backlash in the area to the news, but, she said, “We are remaining vigilant.”
Sgt. Parla’s message to everyone in the New Hyde Park area is how much she appreciates the support. She said, “Especially my mom, my sister, Kaitlin Parla, and the support of the community in sending Soldier’s Angel Care Packages. They are so appreciated.”