Thursday, February 02, 2023
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Purple Heart parking spaces needed in community

| January 22, 2023 1:00 AM

I’ve been chatting with some of my local fellow combat veterans and the positive feedback we get from having Purple Heart license plates on our vehicles. When our plates are seen, many locals go out of their way to welcome us home or otherwise give us encouragement and appreciation for what is a lifelong traumatic event. Some, but not all of us also have disability placards for our injuries which allow us to use the adequately supplied disabled parking spots.

But many Purple Heart vets don’t have the plates or the disability placard and may feel a bit left out. I don’t want anyone to feel that way who was ever wounded for service to our country. It’s not just their own wounds but usually reminds them of comrades who lost their lives in the combat event. I also don’t think this is what the average Idaho citizen would like either as we have a proud and strong reputation for supporting our troops and veterans.

A Purple Heart veteran is issued an identification card from the VA that notes if they have such an award. The card cannot be obtained without proof and verification as it allows the vet to be given a higher priority within the government healthcare system so a Purple Heart veteran always has proof in their pocket.

I’d like to encourage our local cities and county to consider allocating a few spaces for PH parking in some of the more popular and visible locations; downtown, fairgrounds, beach or boat parking, ski resorts, etc. I’m sure every veteran will smile when they see one, even if it’s already taken by another. I also think the one-time cost would be relatively inexpensive and be a reminder that we are a nation of patriots.

Please and thank you,

RAY CALHOUN

Sandpoint

USMC 1966-1969

Vietnam combat veteran

Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient

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