Franklin Electric Co., Inc. is proud to be one of several manufacturers that recently teamed with the Military Makeover™ national television series to provide a military vet, retired Technical Sergeant Kevin Parke, and his family of seven with multiple water systems solutions for their home in Crestview, Florida, in recognition and gratitude for the sacrifices he made for our country. The season five series premier of Designing Spaces® Military Makeover is initially airing on Lifetime® Network at 7:00 a.m. ET/PT on February 18, 2016, and then re-airing at the same time and network on February 25, 2016. Episode three of the three-part series, also featuring Franklin Electric, can be seen on Lifetime Network at 7:00 a.m. ET/PT on March 17, 2016, and will re-air at the same time and network on March 24, 2016.
Kevin Parke is a recently retired Air Force veteran where he was an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician. During his second deployment in Afghanistan, he specialized in disarming IEDs (improvised explosive devices) to keep our soldiers safe when traveling through the country. In six months, Sergeant Parke and his team disarmed 87 IEDs before they exploded and analyzed another 50-plus IEDs post blast. During this same time, Sergeant Parke was also part of three missions where IED’s detonated underneath his military vehicle, causing multiple back, leg and brain injuries that he, and subsequently, his family, now endure every day. Sergeant Parke is a true hero that put his life in jeopardy to serve our country to the fullest of his abilities.
After learning about a partnership opportunity with Military Makeover, Franklin Electric was thrilled to work directly with the family to identify multiple water solutions inside and outside of the home that have improved their way of life. These solutions included the Inline 400 pressure boosting system to increase water pressure throughout the home when water is being used for multiple needs, a stunning Koi Pond featuring a Little Giant® pump, skimmer, biological water filter and liner for the Parke’s relaxation pleasure, a Little Giant WRS Series sump pump system attached to a new sink in the garage to help the family clean up before entering the home, a VCMX-20 Series condensate pump to remove condensate created by the new ice maker in the garage, and a beautiful Little Giant Disappearing Fountain outside the front porch that produces the calming sound of flowing water.
“This was a win-win opportunity for Franklin Electric,” said DeLancey Davis, Franklin Electric’s President of its North America Water Systems division. “We had the opportunity to showcase our products, work with a terrific organization and serve a truly worthy family. It also provided our staff the chance to work with professional water systems contractors and get hands-on experience with how our entire offering of cleanwater, wastewater and outdoor living products benefit a local family. We thank Sergeant Parke for his service and wish his family the best with their remodeled home.”
The Lasting Injuries
In 2010, Sergeant Parke was hit by three IEDs in a six-month timeframe, including two that happened within a matter of days. The first two significantly jarred his body and brain, causing at least one concussion. The third explosion threw his 30,000-pound truck 14 feet and slammed his machine gun into the side of his face, causing significant brain damage that still impacts his daily life. Two back surgeries later, and he’s still trying to get his pain under control.
“For long periods of time, I’m just stuck in my room because of pain and sickness issues,” said retired Sergeant Parke. “The invisible injuries are the worst. The pressure from hitting the ceiling of the truck and my machine gun really damaged my brain and has crazy effects on my daily life. I have 17 dead spots on my brain, so my memory is rough. I’ve also had some issues with sickness that caused me to lose 35 pounds in just a couple of months. But, I’m working through it with the help of my family and especially my wife. She’s the true hero here, taking care of both me and our five kids.”
Sergeant Parke retired from the military in March 2015, and Franklin Electric is proud to be part of the team to enhance his life as a retired veteran. He is a recipient of two Purple Hearts, and earned three Air Force Commendation Medals, an Army Commendation Medal, an Air Force Combat Action Medal, an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, two Air Force Good Conduct Medals, one Afghanistan Campaign Medal, one Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border, one Air Force Longevity Service Award, one Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon and many more.
Pumping Solutions Improve Quality of Life
While nothing can truly repay retired Sergeant Parke for his service or eliminate his injuries, Franklin Electric’s pumping solutions will help make daily life more enjoyable for the Parke family. These solutions include:
- Inline 400 pressure boosting system: This water pump and motor, in one durable product housing, automatically provides a straight boost of water pressure to the home, when needed. Water can now be used for multiple applications, such as laundry, dishes, and showering, all at the same time without costing the person in the shower the water pressure they desire. During early discussions with the Parke family, it was obvious that water pressure was a problem due in part to their lawn irrigation system. “When the lawn sprinklers run, we get no water pressure in the house,” said Parke. “So, we just stopped running the sprinklers at night to accommodate our schedule.” The Parke’s no longer have to work around this scheduling hassle.
- Koi Pond water feature: Driven by a Little Giant brand pump, skimmer, biological water filter and liner, the installation of this feature was generated initially by Sergeant Parke’s love for Koi Ponds. “I’ve always found them to be incredibly relaxing,” said Parke. “A naval hospital in Maryland had one and I just sat there for hours. It was just awesome. Relaxation is often difficult for me, so I’m excited to sit by one whenever I want now.” Around the Koi Pond, Franklin teamed with Rene West and Executive Landscaping, from Pensacola, Florida, to provide a brick patio, numerous environment-enriching plants and other surrounding foliage that enhances the entire feature.
- Little Giant WRS Series compact water removal system: This system is attached to a new sink in the garage so the family can clean up before entering the house. The WRS system provides flexibility to homeowners to install sinks or other laundry machines in a garage, basement or any other location where gravity drainage is impractical or impossible.
- Little Giant VCMX-20 Series condensate pump: Another manufacturer donated an ice maker for the garage that creates condensate that must be removed. This pump was added to the back of the ice maker to pump away that condensate through existing plumbing.
- Little Giant Disappearing Fountain water feature: This feature provides an aesthetically pleasing feature to the front of the home so the family can sit on the front porch and enjoy the calming sound of water flowing through a stunningly beautiful bowl basin.
Franklin Electric is a manufacturer of complete water pumping systems for residential, commercial, agricultural, industrial, and municipal applications. One of its leading brands, Little Giant, is celebrating its 75th Anniversary as a leading pump manufacturer of plumbing, HVAC, dewatering, utility and other various pumps in 2016. For more information about: Franklin’s cleanwater offering, visit www.franklinwater.com; Franklin’s plumbing and HVAC offering, visit www.littlegiant.com or Franklin’s Outdoor Living offering, visit www.lg-outdoor.com. For more information about Executive Landscaping, visit http://landscapingthegulfcoast.com/. For more information about Designing Spaces’ Military Makeover, visit http://www.militarymakeover.tv/.