Yes, Jerry Parr served in the Navy for 31 years, including a tour of duty on Okinawa as a Judge Advocate General surrounded by Marines, but his new book The Stigma of Squidness is not a memoir, he explained. “Sailors and Marines know that a sea story is a nautical tall tale that has been pulled hither and yon like taffy, until it’s almost transparent,” Parr said, which is why he wrote the book under the pen name AC Story.
Parr started writing the book back in the 1990s, then set it aside, busy with a full-time law practice, service in the Naval reserve that took him around the world, and his family. He came back to the book in 2011 and spent three years rewriting it. An excerpt from The Stigma of Squidness is available now on www.webook.com while Parr seeks a publisher.
“The book is about the transformation of a young naval officer isolated by a tour of duty on Okinawa, where he’s the only Navy attorney assigned there to 20,000 Marines,” Parr said. “Most Okinawans would probably rather not have any military on the island. And to Marines, who consider a Sailor a squid—the lowest form of marine life—the naval officer has to earn the respect of the Marines he serves with and overcome the loneliness of being in a foreign country for the first time.” Along the way, the naval officer finds romance—but of course it’s complicated—and friendship. Parr hopes his story holds up to the values of duty, loyalty, and consideration of others.
Parr also hopes his book will benefit the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, and plans to donate 20% of the proceeds to the Society when the book is published. “I never used the services of the Society, but I knew other people who needed emergency loans and other help, and I know how important the Society is to Sailors and Marines. My book is about Sailors and Marines. My audience is people who could benefit or have benefited from the Society.”
Three decades in the Navy took Parr not only to Okinawa, but also to the Philippines, Texas, Europe, Japan, Hawaii, Washington, California, and Connecticut. A native of Dallas, he enlisted in the Navy in 1973 to serve in aviation maintenance administration. After three years of active duty, he went to college and stayed in the naval reserves. Then he went to law school on the GI Bill, was selected for the Judge Advocate General Student program and was commissioned as an officer. Parr then returned to active duty as a LT, JAG Corps, USNR.
After five more years of active duty, Parr decided to move back to Texas, where he worked as a prosecutor in the District Attorney’s office and in private practice, before becoming an associate probate judge. Throughout it all, he remained in the naval reserves, which included drilling once a month for several years in Chicago, Illinois, while training annually in London, England. He was a military judge for four years, overseeing Court Martials all over the world.
By Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso