Facing the Dragon - David Parnell
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In my 20 plus years as a cop, I have gone to many classes, presentations, and saw many speakers. Last Thursday was the best I have witnessed. I was out of the office on Friday, but when I checked my messages today, the school has had several students come in either asking for help, or asking for help for a friend or family member. Our job is to get them they help they need and we will do so. There area lot of people who ask why after a tragedy, to which there often is no answer. God wanted David to survive to do what he is doing. Thank you for what you and David both do.

Investigator Bob Rhiel

Pierce County Sheriff’s Department

Ellsworth, WI

David –

I am Jeff Voss. I am doing student teaching at Eden Valley – Watkins schools. I am a Phys. Ed teacher. I want to thank you for coming and providing all the information you did and explaining your life to all the students. There were a lot of kids that came to me later in the day and told me how real and important that was to hear that. They thought you did and excellent job; they were very interested in you. I know you had a huge impact on many students. I just wanted to that on and say thank you. You are a very courageous man!

Thank you and take care,


To – Amy Parnell

From – Charlotte Hoffmann, senior high school math teacher

Cedar Mountain students heard graphic details about methamphetamine use and consequences thereof. This drug has been working its way into our state and into younger demographics. We were blessed to have David share first-hand how it turned him into a “maniac” and stole time from his wife and children. David’s message was a very vivid reminder for students that meth is not a drug anyone can take casually. One use and a person is addicted. His appearance and pictures in his presentation make the tragedy very real for our students. He plainly spoke, sharing how meth affected his life and how he made excuses that he wasn’t one of the statistics. His message was one that every high school student should hear.


Your presentation at Monticello High School in Minnesota was outstanding! I am a staff person here at the school. You’re very down to earth, and that gets through to a lot of people. I liked the detail that you put into your story; it kept your audience very interested and gave them more to relate to. I wish you continued success in your mission as it is a very important one! Good luck with your healing.


Julie LaRoque

Mr. Parnell,

I am a Special Education teacher at North Harrison Middle School and attended your presentation on May 2nd. You did a fantastic job and I really appreciate your dedication to helping these kids. My students listened very intently to you and I hope with all my heart your words will help them make good decisions. Thank you so much for trying to make a difference and I wish you well on your continued recovery.

God Bless,

Janene Nash

I have attended many lyceums in my 13 years as a high school counselor, but I have never attended a more powerful lyceum than David Parnell. He gave an excellent presentation to our students in the morning and another presentation to our community in the evening. Our student body was literally speechless after listening to David’s gripping story of addiction and recovery. Many of our students returned to hear his evening message as well. Our community was also receptive to his unbelievable story and is much more aware of what steps we can take to stop the methamphetamine monster that is sweeping this country. I believe every high school and community in America should have the opportunity to listen to David’s passionate message.

Thank you very much for coming to our school and community,

Kirk Johnson

Hastings High School Counselor

Hello, I am writing from Wabasha, MN where I listened to one of the most tragic drug tales I have ever heard. You are very courageous to stand up in front of hundreds of people, admit your mistakes, and do such a good job of showing that at the end of a very dark tunnel, there is a light. Thank you so much for sharing your story, people in this small river town are still talking about your presentation and the effect it had on your audience. Know that you do make a difference; students are really thinking about not taking drugs because of the harmful effects on not only themselves, but other people around them. Thank you again for all of the insight and reality.

Denise Hawkins


As a school board member and parent whom attended your presentation I must tell you that I am very appreciative of the time you took to warn & educate our students and my son. Although the kids asked very few questions, I heard many comments in the hallway afterwards as I was leaving; I heard my son at the supper table telling his dad about this man that came to school today and what Meth had done to him. He talked about it as soon as he got home from school that day…..seeing you as a high school student, playing basketball….even DUNKING IT, really made those students that are athletes see how easy your life can change! You definitely made and impact and were heard!

I am thankful that you found salvation and that you are rejoicing in your family. Spreading the word of what drugs can do to you is absolutely what is needed. Thank God you survived and you are right……there was a reason for that. Thanks so much for taking the time to come to our little town in Eagle Bend, MN


Dear David and Amy,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you both for sharing your story with my children. My children attend school Sioux Valley-Round Lake-Brewster High School. You spoke at their school yesterday and they were very moved and shocked by your presentation. We talked about it all night after I got home from work. It was really wonderful to see how much information they retained from your speech and what all they had learned.

I appreciate you both taking the time out of your lives to share your story and help others learn from what you have been through. As a parent we try to teach our children the dangers of drug and alcohol use but we just never know if we are doing a good job. Your sharing opened their eyes to the reality of drug and alcohol use and what can happen, who is all affected, and how your life will never be the same. Thank you so much for sharing and making my children think about how drug and alcohol use can wreck lives in the blink of an eye. I don’t know how to express my appreciation. If you ever need anything, please feel free to contact me and I will do all I can to help you all. You are truly amazing people!

Thank you again,


In my position, I sometimes witness the heartache caused by poor decisions. It has been an uplifting experience to meet Mr. David Parnell. He has survived methamphetamine addiction and a suicide attempt to emerge as an inspiration to those who might make the choice to tempt fate by using this dangerous drug. I appreciate his willing ness to work with the students in my program as well as to share his story with all who care to listen.

Joyce Hale, Director – Weakley County Alternative School

David Parnell’s presentation is a “must see” for anyone. A life completely changed by the use of drugs and the resulting trauma he faces daily, is a lesson that we all need to hear. His story is one that could help our children make wiser choices because they have heard from someone who did not – and have seen for themselves what choosing the path of drugs can do. Heart-wrenching and emotional are words that barely scratch the surface of David’s story.

Denise Brazzell

Graves County High School Youth Service Center Coordinator


Thank you for speaking at the recent Minnesota Crime Prevention Conference in St. Cloud, MN. I am thankful for the opportunity to hear the presentation. God Bless and keep on speaking and making a difference!!

Jay Dulas, Deputy Sheriff

Waseca County Sheriff’s Office

I wanted to thank you for coming and speaking at the Ellsworth High School in Ellsworth, Wisconsin. As a mother of a 14 & 17 year-old I pray everyday they stay away from drugs. My kids thought you were awesome! I wish you luck with your family and God Bless you always…


Ellsworth, WI

I came home from David’s seminar just a couple hours ago. Amazing!!! Thank you so much for being able to come to our community. My kids wanted to go again even thought they had already seen it at school. They picked up even more the second time around. Very inspiring!!! Yes, God had a purpose when David was spared. To go through so much for David and the entire family!!! May all of you continue to save and inspire many more people of all ages to help do something about this rapidly growing problem. It is very scary to hear how fast and widespread this drug abuse has become. It’s going to take many more people like you to help the statistics go down…….. I pray everyone can play some role (no matter how large or small) to help bring this problem to an end.

Keep up the sensational work!!! Thanks again. Lisa

Dear David,

Just went to your seminar and wanted to say I was really moved to hear about your experience with drugs. It’s no doubt that you are making a difference. After listening to you I now have a better understanding of what meth can do to someone. You are living proof that people can change. Keep up the good work. God Bless you and your family.


David Parnell,

I just wanted to say, you are an inspiration for a lot of kids. Keep up the good work and God Bless you for all your efforts in the fight against this enemy.


Recovery Analyst

Dear David and Amy, I met you (David), when you spoke in Valparaiso, Indiana. Your story is AMAZING and uplifting. I just can’t contemplate what you were able to accomplish. I took my 13 year-old grandson to see you and he was “shell-shocked”. He is in the school band, but that is no guarantee he won’t be exposed to drugs. Your presentation made a big impact on him. Thank you for what you are doing. I think you should write a book – it would be a best seller. You have a lovely family, and Amy must have patience and virtue of a saint. She certainly, also, deserves credit for your turn around. You are both an INSPIRATION. God Bless, Lena.


I am a teacher at Mayfield High School where you recently gave your talk on meth. I wanted to write to you and tell you how much I personally appreciated what you had to say. I myself have lost my only brother to suicide due to addiction a year and a half ago. You really had an effect on me personally.

However, more importantly, I really think you had a strong impact on the students. WE still are discussing it at different moments in my classroom. I think you have enlightened us an hopefully will make our students really consider the choices they make.

Thanks again, Brian


Thank you for working with me to bring David to our campus. He touched many of the people that attended the event and I have heard that there would be interest if he was to return. Many people have approached me and told me that they really liked the fact that he was open and honest about his own problems and that they were inspired by his strength. Many people also asked that I express my gratitude to him for doing what he does and that it is truly amazing. I would highly agree so on behalf of myself and those in attendance I would like to say that David is an amazing person and I am so glad that he was able to present to us.

Thank you for this opportunity,

Caitlin Buck PEAC Drug Awareness Team Executive

Creighton University, Omaha NE

I apologize for this being so late, but I do want you to know how much I appreciate you for being our featured speaker at our Life Or Meth seminar in November. You did an excellent job with your presentation, and your participation in the seminar was so helpful and encouraging. Our sincerest thanks for all your help with this even, as well as your ongoing efforts in the fight against drug abuse across our nation. If I can ever be of help to you, please let me know.


Ron Phillips

First United Pentecostal Church

1810 N Dixie Ave.

Cookeville, TN 38501

David: Just wanted to take a few minutes to say a “huge” thank you for your presentations to our classes at Willmar Senior High School. I know from the responses of the students you have touched their lives. I have heard nothing but positive comments from the community, parents, and our students. Again, “Thank You” from all of us. Have a blessed holiday season!

Neil Schendel

Assistant Principal

Willmar Senior High School

Dear David:

First of all I want to say “Thank You!” for sharing your story with all of us last night in Detroit Lakes at the Holmes Theatre. I attended with my 16 year old daughter. Initially I was going to be attending last night’s seminar by myself, as my daughter was scheduled to be out of town participating in a school ski meet. She attends the high school in Detroit Lakes and was able to attend your seminar yesterday at the school. After the seminar at the school, she called me to make sure I was going to be able to attend your seminar that evening and asked if she could miss her ski meet and attend with me as well. I was a bit surprised that she wanted to stay home from her meet and attend the same seminar again that evening….but immensely proud and very glad she did.

Meth is increasingly becoming a major problem all over the country and affecting and ruining many lives. I thank God that he had other plans for you. Your story is very open, honest, and inspirational. Thank you for sharing it with others and making a difference.



Detroit Lakes, MN

Dear David and Amy –

I heard you speak last night at St. Michael’s in Prior Lake. I was there with my 13-year-old daughter. I have never been so moved y a presentation in my life. I have also never written to someone like this, but I just wanted you to know how deeply touched I was by your story. The courage you have shown is truly God Sent. I can tell you that everyone in the audience was hanging on you every word.

On the way home my daughter and I kept saying “Wow, what an amazing family!” My daughter agreed that seeing the pictures spoke more than any words ever could. All their lives kids are told to not do drugs and how bad it is for you. Every child they are invincible and it won’t happen to them. Seeing your pictures makes it “real” to them and I can guarantee they won’t ever forget it. My daughter was most disturbed by the poor children who get caught up in this nightmare (and the pictures of the meth mouth!).


Dear David,

I am a State Trooper in Columbia, TN, and was blessed with the opportunity to hear your story at Columbia State Community College on Tuesday night. I have been in law enforcement for 15 years and have been in many, many hours of drug enforcement training, but it was brought to a whole new level for me as I listened to you the other night. I am a Christian and I truly believe that God delivered you and your family from methamphetamine. I also want to thank you for your emphasis on the law enforcement officer’s response to meth users. I wish that every young person in every community could hear your story. I am going to bring my wife to one of your events and look forward to her receiving the same blessing as I did. I am sorry for the suffering that you and your family experienced from the drugs and alcohol. It is obvious that God had and has a plan for your life and you are being that witness to people all over our world. Thank you for coming to my community and please know that you and your family are in my family’s prayers everyday. If I can ever help you in any way, please contact me.





I wish I would of known that you were speaking at the Isle school today. My son saw you today an stayed after to talk with you. It is the first time in many years that he came home so excited about meeting someone and hearing their story. He could not wait to show me your website. After everything he’s been through, it is nice to know that he can go to school and come out excited about something. You made a lasting impression on him. THANK YOU!

Lisa B.

Amy, I so wanted to meet you, but I’m glad I got to meet David. He did a wonderful service to Mille Lacs County. He kept 7th and 8th graders quiet for two hours and we had to cut them off with questions because school was ending. It was absolutely tremendous. I’m sure you’ve heard this hundreds of times, but he made quite an impact on people from the young to the old.

I just can’t say enough about how it affected people. He got across in two hours what I’ve been trying to get across to readers for five years. Thanks again

Dawn Slade – Reporter with The Mille Lacs County Times – Minnesota

David and Amy,

I cannot thank you enough for sharing your horrible story with strangers to save our lives. You truly are doing the work that you were sent to do. I appreciate your honesty, acceptance of your behavior, and your message of hope. Amy, thank you for encouraging David to share his/your story. It can’t be easy taking care of all 7 beautiful children while he is traveling speaking to all of the schools and community members.

We appreciate your family’s history and your dedication to stopping the terrible meth epidemic in our country.


Deer River High School  

just wanted to say thank you again, Mr. Parnell for coming to Nicholas County High School. The students as well as the teachers were very impressed with your presentation. I could tell you had a great impact on our students and their thoughts on meth. So again, thank you, it meant a lot.

Heather Alison

Nicholas County Schools



I first saw your husband speak when I was a counselor in Buffalo, Minnesota. Then, I took another position and contacted you and had your husband speak at the facility I now work at which is Transformation House last December of 06. I passed the word and he has now spoken at the facility my daughter works at which is Riverplace Counseling Center. I myself am a recovering methamphetamine addict and know first hand what this drug is capable of doing to the life and lives of the people.

The message that you and your husband carry across the miles is such a blessing to all that have the privilege of hearing him. I thank you for all that you do behind the scene in order for this message to even be carried out to the public. God Bless You, David, and the children.

Sincerely: Geraldine D. Carlton LADC

Good Morning David,

I would like to extend my thanks for your honesty and genuine presentation. I was moved by your presentation, it was nice to see so many of our community members of Akwesane attend at the fire station to hear what methamphetamine does to a person. I am employed in the Probation and Parole field. It is often I come across individuals who have issues with drugs and alcohol.

Again thank you (Naiwen) for your seminar. Much happiness is extended to you and your family.

Donna Delormier

Native Community Correction Officer  


I am an eighth grade teacher at Russell County Middle School and had the privilege of hearing you speak this morning. I just wanted to take a moment to let you know how wonderful, thought, provoking, interesting, and important your presentation was for the children who attend this school. Your honest description of your life, with its ups and downs, and the vivid images you displayed will certainly have a lasting affect on the lives of these students. God certainly gave you a second chance at life and you are most assuredly using it to the best of your ability!!

With much admiration,


I’m a 17 year old girl from Monticello Minnesota and I also am a recovering meth addict. I started when I was fifteen and have been sober for 4 months. And David’s story helped me to get to where I am today in life. I first saw bits and pieces of his story on channel nine and a few days later I was sitting in treatment for which I thought was going to be 30 days but it was 2 ½ months later until they finally let me out. David’s story really helped me to realize I need to make a change in my life and I am so very grateful to have met this courageous man. Even after being in treatment I still didn’t believe that meth was so dangerous until I heard David’s story and the stories of other meth addicts. It’s unbelievable to hear how strong and devoted his wife and kids were. The Lord has blessed him and had a bigger plan for him than what he had for himself and he is truly living proof of it. I can’t even put into words what a great story and awesome man he is. I now know how dangerous meth is and because of David I have got more involved in fighting this demon we are all fighting with. I also got to treatment centers and NA meetings and tell my story hoping that I can at least save one person. My story isn’t anything compared to David’s but it better then just sitting around and letting this drug steal the soul of many lives .

I hope and pray for him and his family as they continue on their journey living with the horrible and terrifying consequences because of his use of meth! Thank you so much David for sharing your awesome but tragic story with my school! I know it wasn’t easy and my gratitude speaks! Stay strong. May God continue being with you and your wonderful family

Danielle Razink