The unveiling of two parking spaces designated for wounded veterans was held during a ceremony at WestGate Academy on Thursday. The event, which was held in conjunction with Armed Forces Day and Military Appreciation Month, included the unveiling of one space specified for Purple Heart recipients and one space specified for wounded warriors.
Brian Romans, ceremony organizer and CACI International Inc. employee, provided background details on the need for such parking. “During a conversation with some WestGate employees the need for such a designated parking area was brought up. From that conversation, we moved forward and worked together. Now the need for newly purposed parking spaces that honor those who have served our country has been met,” Romans explained.
Thursday’s outdoor ceremony also included a presentation of the colors by the Loogootee American Legion and VFW Color Guard as well as “The Star-Spangled Banner” played by Indiana State Sen. Mark Messmer. Presentations were also given by Brenda Goff of U.S. Sen. Dan Coats’ office, Jerry Parkinson of U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly’s office and Larry Ordner of U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon’s office. Additionally, the Indiana Patriot Guard Riders provided the ceremonial flag display.
During the event, Romans, also a Marine Corps veteran, provided history on the Purple Heart – which is awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy or to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action.
He also noted the importance of honoring U.S. veterans. “It is honorable and admirable to serve our great country and a simple gesture, such as a thank you, to our veterans can go a long way.”