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Dedicated Purple Heart parking spaces

TRIADELPHIA, W.Va. (WTRF) – If you remember a few weeks ago, 7News brought you the Purple Heart parking lot project. It is a mission of VFW Post 4442 to secure designated parking spots for veterans who have been injured while serving.

Companies Wanted for Purple Heart Parking Project

I never imagined that there would be such a turnout.

Wally McMasters, Commander Elect, VFW Post 4442

The first signs are rising in the Ohio Valley and soon people may be seeing these spaces in the United States.

Wally McMasters started with a vision and service project for VFW Post 4442 asking local businesses to provide designated parking sports for Purple Heart recipients.

These people took a bullet for us. They are real heroes and that’s why I started.

Wally McMasters, Commander Elect, VFW Post 4442

McMasters came up with the idea after seeing a veteran struggle to enter a store, unable to park in a handicapped spot.

So he approached Walmart in the Highlands. Almost instantly they said yes.

Personally, I had quite a few family members in the military and most of them have purple hearts, so that’s pretty important to me. Also, as a store, it’s good to give back to the community, especially to those who gave the most to the community initially.

Tim Lemasters, Front End Coach, Walmart

City Facilities Management is partnering with Walmart and they decided to take the project a step further with more than just a sign.

We will provide all the posts and all the material to fix the panels to the ground. Walmart provides all painting and painting supplies. Wally provides the panels and we’re going to try to get that across the entire footprint that stretches from Florida to Massachusetts.

Scott Bartz, Municipal Facilities Management

You’ll soon see these Purple Heart parking spots at other Walmart stores in the area. In fact, there’s already one right across from the store in Moundsville. The Highlands location also plans to add several other spots.

I am very proud of our military and believe that if we can have one for our customers with disabilities, we can have one for our Purple Heart recipients.

Kim Stevey, Asset Protection Team Leader, Walmart

They hope to set an example for other businesses in the Ohio Valley, creating not just one space, but hopefully many.

With a big box store like this, I think they will lead by example and other companies and other big box stores will follow.

Scott Bartz, Municipal Facilities Management

As for Wally, he said he has already received inquiries from other parts of West Virginia. He is delighted that his project for VFW Post 4442 is progressing rapidly.

He would also like to thank the businesses in The Highlands who had Purple Heart parking spaces long before this project began.

We are excited to spread the signs throughout the Ohio Valley and honor our Purple Heart recipients.

Wally McMasters, Commander Elect, VFW Post 4442

If you are a business that wants to be part of the Purple Heart Parking Project and designate a space, call Wally McMasters. His number is 606-793-3004. You can also email him at [email protected]

Deena S. Hawkins

The author Deena S. Hawkins