For one Airman, what seemed to be a standard mission was recognized with the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor.
Jeremiah Parvin ’01 recently served his fourth deployment and has logged more than 578 combat hours. During a deployment to Afghanistan, six Marines needed his help, and they needed it right away. Maj. Parvin and his wingman, Capt. Aaron Cavasos—both A-10C Thunderbolt II pilots—made their way through a challenging flying environment to rescue a Marine Special Operations Team that was being assaulted, and some were injured. Parvin diverted enemy fire toward himself, and the Marines had time to find safety.

“Every time I fly an aircraft, I serve someone else,” said Parvin. “In the greater perspective of the Air Force, there is no greater honor than knowing the person you are supporting remains safe and is able to go home to whoever they have to go back to.”

He believes everything in life is about luck and timing, whether during a mission or otherwise. And he says every day he uses critical thinking, preparedness and time management—skills he gained through his Davidson education.

Parvin points to an English course with Professor Emeritus Gil Holland that has stayed with him throughout his career. “We were studying poetry, and there was a big difference between hearing the words that were printed on the page and then getting to analyze those words,” he said. “He was a brilliant man who had his own insights, but he allowed us and encouraged us to have our own. That translated directly into developing strong critical thinking skills that are so important in life.” Parvin also appreciated the exposure to different religions he received at Davidson, and he wishes he had taken more courses in that area.

“I was exposed to different religions and different styles of norms, and that helps me get along with neighbors, fellow countrymen and countrymen around the world,” he said.

Parvin and his wife, Vanessa, live in Georgia with their four young children, Maximus, Brock, Vivian and Owen.

How are we cultivating more game changers like Jeremiah Parvin?
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