ELM GROVE, W.Va. (WTRF) – Are you an area business that is looking to become more veteran friendly?

VFW Post 4442 in Elm Grove is looking for businesses to be part of its Purple Heart Parking Project. 

All they’re asking is that you reserve a spot for combat wounded veterans. 

We have a few World War II veterans, but mainly Vietnam and our younger veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. A lot of Purple Heart recipients because of the wounds. They’ve literally taken a bullet for us, or an IDE, or lost a leg or an arm and I think we owe them something.

Wally McMasters, Commander-Elect, VFW Post 4442

The Post will provide the sign and even a pole to place it on if you don’t have one. 

Post Commander-Elect Wally McMasters said he got the idea when he saw an older veteran parked in a no-parking zone at a local business. McMasters recalled the vehicle had a Purple Heart license plate he could tell the veteran had a difficult time getting around.

I approached the gentleman and I said ‘sir why don’t you park in the handicapped spot?’. He said, ‘well, I don’t really have a handicapped sticker and there isn’t’ a handicapped spot’.

Wally McMasters, Commander-Elect, VFW Post 4442

That’s when McMasters knew he needed to do something to help with the issue.

This man literally took a bullet for us and he deserves better.

Wally McMasters, Commander-Elect, VFW Post 4442

McMasters says they’d specifically like to have these placed at business with larger parking lots, and as close to the entrance as possible. He also asks that these be available at businesses that cater to veterans or places that veterans would frequently visit.

Post 4442 will also be notifying area Purple Heart Recipients which businesses have the parking spots and are easier to access.

Several businesses have already signed-on to participate. McMasters said they have about 20 signs, but he would gladly purchase more if needed.

If you’d like to request a sign or even donate to the project, call Wally McMasters at 606-793-3004. You can also e-mail him at mcmastersg@bellsouth.net.