Historically, Americans, whether they realize it or not, rely heavily on multi-generational military families to step up, raise their right hand and solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
One such family is our very own, the Nichols/Parkes Family. Amber Parkes has served as our Photographer/Social Media Director since July of 2019, although she has been a part of our company in various roles since 2013.
Amber’s family military heritage began with her grandfather, William L. Nichols. LTC (Ret) Nichols served 33 years in the United States Army. He was a veteran of WWII, the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He also is honored on our Army deck of cards as the Jack of Spades. In continued service, Amber’s father, LTC (Ret) William E. Nichols, served in the Army and retired after 22 years of service.
Born into the military lifestyle at Fort Stewart, Georgia, Amber lived at 9 different duty stations as a military brat. Both sets of grandparents lived in Hawaii and her parents retired there, so Amber calls Hawaii “home” and looks forward to the design of our My Heart-Hawaii spacer.
Following in her grandfather’s and father’s footsteps, Amber joined the Army in 1997 and served at Fort Campbell and Fort Benning in the Army Nurse Corps. It was at Fort Campbell that she met Dave Parkes, a young Army 1LT and fell in love. Her husband, Colonel Parkes, retired last year after 26+ years in the Army.
This family legacy in and of itself would be enough, but their dedication to service and sacrifice did not stop there. Amber, the oldest of 3 girls, has 2 sisters who both served. Erin served in the Air Force and then went “Blue to Green” and finished up her time in the Army, serving a total of 12 years. And Amber’s youngest sister, Kristen, followed in Amber’s footsteps and served in the Army Nurse Corps for 5 years. Both girls also married soldiers who have served, 22 and 17 years respectively. A quick calculation will tell you that their family has accumulated 141 years in service to this Nation.
Amber freely admits that she “stalked” Nomadés early on, but the only Army charm we had initially was Fort Leavenworth. Within about a year of her finding us, we had created most of the charms for her story and she was hooked. Her favorite charm is “We Also Serve.” She loves the symbolism of the wedding rings on the American flag.
Amber is embracing retirement and looking forward to the next chapter. Amber is thankful for her family, their service, her husband and her 3 girls. She is already prepping for a huge Thanksgiving meal, including her favorite, “Pineapple Thing.” (Jump over to Stories from the Kitchen for this fabulous recipe.)
Amber is loved by everyone at Nomadés. Her attention to detail, her natural artistic ability and her commitment are just a few reasons why we wanted you to get to know her and share her story with you.