TRIADELPHIA, W.Va. (WTRF) – If you remember a few weeks ago, 7News introduced you to the Purple Heart Parking Project. It’s a mission of VFW Post 4442 to get designated parking spaces for veterans who were wounded during their service. 

Businesses needed for Purple Heart Parking Project

I never dreamed it would have such a turnout.

Wally McMasters, Commander-Elect, VFW Post 4442

The first signs are going up in the Ohio Valley and soon people may see these spaces states away.

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

These people have taken a bullet for us. They’re true heroes and that’s why I got started.

Wally McMasters, Commander-Elect, VFW Post 4442

McMasters got the idea after watching a veteran struggle to get into a store, unable to park in a handicap space.

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

Personally I’ve had quite a few members of my family in the military and most of them have Purple Hearts, so it’s pretty important to me. Also as a store it’s good to give back to the community, especially those who gave the most to the community to begin with.

Tim Lemasters, Front End Coach, Walmart

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

We’re gonna provide all the posts and all the materials to secure the signs to the ground. Walmart is supplying all the paint and painting supplies. Wally’s providing the signs and we’re going to try and push this across out entire footprint which stretches all the way from Florida to Massachusetts.

Scott Bartz, City Facilities Management

You’ll soon be seeing these purple heart parking spaces at other Walmart stores in the area. In fact, there is already one right in front of the store in Moundsville. The Highlands location plans to add several more spots as well.

I’m very proud of our military and I feel that if we can have one for our handicapped customers then we can have one for our Purple Heart recipients.

Kim Stevey, Asset Protection Team Leader, Walmart

They hope to lead by example for other businesses in the Ohio Valley, making not just one space, but hopefully many. 

With a big box store like this I think they’ll lead by example and other businesses and other box stores will follow suit.

Scott Bartz, City Facilities Management

As for Wally, he said he’s already gotten inquiries from other parts of West Virginia. He’s thrilled his project for VFW Post 4442 is catching on fast.

He also wants to thank the businesses at The Highlands who had Purple Heart parking spots long before this project began.

We’re excited to spread the signs throughout the Ohio Valley and pay tribute to our Purple Heart recipients.

Wally McMasters, Commander-Elect, VFW Post 4442

If you are a business that would like 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 e-mail him at mcmastersg@bellsouth.net.