Kings adds parking spots to honor wounded veterans

Contact this contributing writer at lisa.knodel@gmail.com.

Long known for their red and Columbia blue, the Kings Knights now are embracing purple.

The school district recently joined the Purple Heart Parking Project to honor those who have been injured in combat. Kings received two parking signs at no charge from My GI Foundation, designating a special space for Purple Heart recipients.

“We have made our signs mobile, so we can get the most out of them throughout the year,” said Matt Luecke, manager of School Business Affairs for the district. “For example, this winter you will find them in the high school lot close to the main entrance so they can be used for any activities in the auditorium, gym and the rest of the building. In the spring time, they will move down to the junior high lot, so that spectators for softball, track and baseball can use them. We hope the addition of the signs will make it more inviting and enjoyable for those that have given so much for us.”

Connor Thomas, president and CEO of My GI Foundation, is a Goshen High School senior who has made it his mission to get more of these signs in public locations.

“The signs are the brainchild of retired Marine Colonel John Folsom. The purpose is to honor anyone combat-wounded or who is a member of The Order of the Purple Heart,” he said. “Also, schools or businesses who display these signs show tremendous respect for our veterans.”

Signs also have been added at Little Miami, Loveland, Goshen, Milford and Sycamore schools. The first business to add the signs is Aquarian Pools & Spa in Clermont County.

Thomas said the process to get signs requires establishing where they will be displayed and that they will be functional. They are the same dimensions as all parking signs, and cost $29.75 to create — which is covered by grants and donations. My GI Foundation pays for shipping.

“As a district we feel it is very important to show respect and to honor all veterans. These (wounded veterans) were willing to give so much so that we are able to enjoy our lives. As a district we don’t take their sacrifices for granted. These signs are the least we can do,” Luecke said. “This also hits home for me personally. My father and my uncle were both awarded Purple Hearts during the Vietnam War.”

For more information, go online to http://mygivets.com/.