Reserved Veterans Parking

Re: Veterans Reserved Parking Signs

My name is Melvin Savage and I am a Veteran of the Viet Nam War period. This past winter(of 2014) my wife and I traveled east across the USA from Washington State. We traveled on the Interstates across the middle of the country attending a ships reunion in Topeka, Kansas in September and continued on to the East Coast. We were in Wilmington, North Carolina visiting my cousin when I first noticed the sign at the Harris Tweeter grocery store right next to handicapped parking signs. It surprised me greatly because no where else had I seen such a sign. It said “Reserved for Veterans Parking” and there was a picture of the Flag. I took a picture of it with my phone and asked to talk to the manager. He was summoned and I spoke briefly with him about the sign. I first of all said thank you for the sign and the parking and explained to him that it had really touched me as I was a veteran of the Viet Nam War and we as veterans did not receive a proper thank you for our service. He told me that they had put up the special Veterans Parking signs about 3 months ago and that they were surprised at the comments coming from regular customers and Vet’s alike. Everyone was very pleased that the Veterans were finally being rewarded with something special.

We continued on our trip back to Washington and every store that we did business I asked to see the manager and showed the picture of the sign at Harris Tweeter and asked them if they would consider sending it on to their management team for implantation at their store. Not one person said no and we continued on to Washington State. When we returned to our destination I approached the manager of the QFC (Quality Foods Store’s) in Belfair and he said send me the picture and we’ll send it on to Management. It was about two weeks later there were (6) Reserved Veteran Parking signs next to the Handicapped Parking. I spoke to the manager again and thanked him and he told me that they were the pilot store and if the reaction was sufficient that they would go company wide with the program. The next time I talked to the manager and he told me that the comments were all very positive and he had actually seen people pull into the parking spots and seeing the reserved sign would back out and park at a different spot. No one is enforcing this and no penalty is attached to this but it was good to hear that people really respect those that have served. When I see someone get out of a car that is parked in the Reserved for Veterans Parking spaces I always tell them “Thank you for your service”.

I will continue to present the picture to the stores where we shop. I have already approached McClendon’s Hardware; Lowe’s Hardware, Fred Meyer, Costco, and our local McDonalds and have received a positive reaction to the picture and a promise that they will forward it on to Management. My hope is others will take this picture and present it to managers in the stores that they do business to spread the word over the whole “USA”.

Thank you for letting me tell my story.
Melvin G. Savage CS2 USS Oriskany CVA 34 1961-1965

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