Lakeland to unveil parking space for wounded veterans

LAKELAND, Fla. (WTSP) -- On this Election Day, when you’re exercising your right to vote, it's important to remember those who fought so you could have that right.

Just in time for Veterans Day, the city of Lakeland is unveiling a new parking space reserved only for veterans injured in combat. The space will be right in the center of downtown Lakeland at Munn Park. Unlike other spots in that area, it won’t have a two-hour limit.

“This is just a way to give back,” said Kevin Cook, a city spokesperson.

There's already a spot like this one in Lakeland. It's at Veterans Park, an area that doesn't get nearly as much traffic as downtown.

“It's sort of at the crossroads of this city,” retired Air Force Col. Gary Clark said. “This is the hub of the city.”

Clark said the sign is a small token of appreciation for what wounded veterans have done.

“They carry those wounds with them their entire life,” he explained.

Even though the space is in a prime location downtown, the city's not too worried about enforcing the rules.

“But we're going to monitor it just in case for 90 days and see how it goes,” Cook said.

Gary Clark said he doesn’t anticipate any problems with people who aren’t Purple Heart recipients parking there.

“We wouldn't dare try to assume that we can utilize that parking space,” said Clark, who wasn’t injured in combat.

The city will be putting the sign up on Thursday, and unveiling it as part of its Veterans Parade on Saturday.

 


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