Ivy Tech's Lafayette campus reserving spots for wounded vets
Last Updated: 76 days ago
LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Wounded veterans attending Ivy Tech's Lafayette campus will no longer have to fight for parking.
The school unveiled new parking spaces this week designated for wounded veterans.
"To put up signs recognizing their service for everyone to see as a constant reminder, and for them to [be able to] park closer to the building and not have to deal with the injuries as much as they might, was the least we could do," said David Bathe, chancellor for the Lafayette campus.
Ivy Tech's Lafayette campus has more than 7,000 students, of which 350 are veterans. Justin Howton, 33, is among them.
Howton served eight years in the Army and did two tours of duty in Iraq. He was wounded on April 11, 2005, as he and his unit were running for cover from mortar fire.
"I knew I had been hit by then," Howton remembered, "because I felt an immense amount of pressure burning in my leg."
Howton had shrapnel lodged in his leg, for which he received a Purple Heart. He said having spaces reserved for wounded vets on campus "means the world" to him.
"I have seen some of the wounded warriors on campus and they are in worse shape than me, and I don't think it's right for them to have to find a parking spot," Howton said.
Non-veteran students say they're onboard the decision as well.
"It is visually striking," said Hannah Aschenberg, a student at the Lafayette campus. "It's a good way for us to show our support for them."
Bathe said it costs the school about $200 to make signs for the reserved spaces, but that it's a small price to pay to recognize students who served their country.
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