Jason Parks of Aurora, Neb., was Nebraska’s 2012 Hero of the Year.
By Randy York
Most of us know that Nebraska’s 2013 Heroes Game against Iowa is Friday, Nov. 29th, but did we ever tell you that we need another real-life hero like Jason Parks, Nebraska’s 2012 Hero of the Year? Parks was honored last November in Iowa City when the Huskers defeated the Hawkeyes, 13-7, in the second annual Heroes Game presented by Hy-Vee. Parks, who saved the life of a truck driver, didn’t get to wave to an appreciative Nebraska sellout crowd, so he will make up for that lost opportunity Saturday when the Huskers host South Dakota State. NU’s last regular-season non-conference game will serve as the official kickoff for Hy-Vee’s annual Call for Nominations.
“We’re glad Jason will be introduced at halftime of Saturday’s game, so all of our fans can show their appreciation for his heroic act,” Nebraska Assistant Athletic Director Michael Stephens said. “Jason’s instincts and selflessness define the kinds of heroes we’re looking for – everyday people who help others in a dire situation without hesitation.”
Parks was driving to work at his family’s business in Aurora, Neb., one morning when he saw two semi-trucks collide in his rear-view mirror. He doubled back to the scene of the accident, where he heard one of the drivers screaming for help from the flaming truck cab. Parks pulled the man from the wreckage and carried him to safety as the truck exploded behind them. For putting himself in danger to save the life of a complete stranger, Parks was Nebraska’s No. 1 Hero of the Year choice.
“Jason definitely deserves the honor he received, but what I like most about our Heroes Game is both states having so many deserving heroes for the roles they played in very similar experiences to Jason’s,” Stephens said. “There are all kinds of compelling stories out there where ordinary people go above and beyond. We hope our fans tune into the Husker Sports Network pregame show about noon on Saturday, so they can hear Jason describe his experience in an interview at the Nebraska Book Store.”
Besides Parks, Nebraska also congratulates 28 additional 2012 nominees for hero status, including one that was submitted in support of Tom Osborne, who presented Parks his award last November in Iowa City. Other Nebraskans who were nominated for the 2012 Heroes Award: Deann Barnard, Beatrice; Christopher Berggren, Lincoln; Lisa Buhr, Adams; James Buhr, Adams; Vicki Depenbusch, Lincoln; Dr. Harris Graves, Omaha; Laura Hickman, Omaha; Dr. Anne Hubbard, Omaha; Lynsie Jones, Omaha; Kris Kinsella, LaVista; Keith Knoop, Lincoln; Tevi Lawson, Omaha; Floyd “Sid” Mason, Columbus; Justin Matthes, Malcolm; Dr. Joseph McCaslin, Omaha; Ron Meyer, Blue Hill; Bruce Moore, Omaha; Sean Murphy, Papillion; Dr. Scott Osborne, Beatrice; Philip Peter, Blue Hill; Mikayla Savell Flott, Omaha; Tanya Shook, Omaha; Jeff Spencer, Omaha; Bethany Staffort, Omaha; Jason Vculek, Belvidere; Aaron Wattenbach, Bellevue; and Ron Wolfe, Lincoln.
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