When The American Legion awarded a Distinguished Service Medal posthumously to Parker in 1949, his widow, Katherine, told the convention, "The American Legion was ever close to his heart. He had shared your sufferings, your rejoicings and your ambitions both at home and overseas, and he gloried in being one of you.
"On his very last day, what might be termed his final official act was to complete the draft of a national-defense report for The American Legion. Thus, he was with you to the end of his long, active and purposeful life."
Past National Commander Edward A. Hayes said Parker "would sit in the back row in just an ordinary post meeting, wearing his Legion cap. But he would step into every sphere of Legion activity, and when he conceived, as he did, the Illinois program on national defense, which you later adopted as a national-organization program, I say he made one of the greatest contributions ever made by an American Legionnaire."
An 1894 graduate of West Point, Parker had a 42-year military career that took him to Florida, Puerto Rico, France, Venezuela, Argentina and Cuba.
Toward the end of World War I,he became commander of the American Expeditionary Force's 1st Division. He remained in France as a military adviser to President Woodrow Wilson until 1921.
Toward the end of his military service, Parker served in New York, Texas and the Philippines. Although he retired in 1936, Parker served as the executive director of the Illinois War Council during World War II. He died in Chicago in 1947, at 74.
For more on Parker, click here (http://www.arcent.army.mil/hidden/usarcent-history/third-army-command-bi...(1936).aspx).