An honor for service

Published 9:15 pm Thursday, August 16, 2012

Our country can never do enough for the brave men and women who have protracted service-connected injuries or illnesses.

One North Carolina county recently received national attention when it reserved parking spaces for those who have been wounded in the military. The parking signs have popped up in front of Onslow County tax offices, the local airport, health department and even a Jacksonville Walmart.

In a country that designates spaces for pregnant women, the handicapped and to-go orders, it’s almost shameful that our wounded warriors have not had the same designation.

In a city with one of the largest military bases in the country, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, the designation makes perfect sense and will likely be put to good use. All communities with a military base or VA hospital should consider reserving spaces.

Would the same designated parking spaces get much use in Beaufort County? Wouldn’t most wounded warriors already use handicapped placards? Would a wounded warrior take advantage of the space or want to be treated the same? Would those with PTSD be comfortable using the space?

Perhaps none of these questions matter. The spaces may help make a wounded warrior’s life easier, but it is also about honoring those who served and reminding them just how grateful we are.

It doesn’t take a parking sign to honor our veterans. Thank any veteran who crosses your path for his or her service.

When a local veteran like Jordan Rawls reaches out for help, don’t let him down. The 44-year-old suffered a massive stroke last November and needs help paying for the additional physical therapy the VA does not cover.

We can honor our wounded warriors by donating to charities like the Wounded Warrior Project ( and donate to the USO to help those who are currently deployed.

Hats off to Onslow County. May this be a reminder to all of us of the sacrifices made by our military troops.