FORT WORTH — It may not be the first place to do it, but it’s certainly a gesture that is resonating in Cowtown.
A recently opened development in southwest Fort Worth, called Waterside, is now home to popular stores like REI and the city’s first Whole Foods.
A lot of the attention lately, though, has been paid to three reserved parking spots toward the front of the area’s massive parking lot.
The spaces are saved under reserved signs for “Wounded Warriors.”
“I have not seen this in person anywhere else,” says Jesse Spivey, who served two tours of duty in Iraq.
The Marine veteran says he uses the spots because he suffered injuries during combat, including a bad hip.
“Some days when I get out of my car, it hurts a lot. It’s nice to have a shortened walk,” Spivey said.
That was the idea when developers at Trademark Properties looked into the concept last fall.
“We’ve gotten great feedback,” says Edward Manuel, one of the project’s lead managers.
Manuel says while they had long heard of spots reserved for pregnant women, even the elderly, the veteran spots were something they felt was needed.
“We thought who better to give parking to than people who have served our country?” he said.
The spaces received a recent viral boost when Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. John Cornyn retweeted a photo of the spots circulating on Twitter.
For former U.S. Airman Angel Ayala, who served during the Gulf War, the signs represent a change in the public’s perception of veterans.
“We didn’t have anything like that back then,” he said. “Forty years ago, they really didn’t have anything like that. The people, culture and attitude has changed. I feel the support.”