Islander Student Veterans Honor Purple Heart Warriors with New Parking Spots

By Olivia Santos | Published: February 06, 2020

 Islander Student Veterans Honor Purple Heart Warriors with New Parking Spots

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Serving bravely with honor and dignity while making the ultimate sacrifice. Since adapting its official design and name in 1932, the Purple Heart has reflected the cost of freedom paid in the loyal service of military men and women. Now, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Student Veterans Organization (SVO) is honoring those wounded in the line of duty by erecting Purple Heart recipient parking spaces at the Island University’s campus.

“We wanted to take on a project that would not only honor our veterans but would help to make their life a little bit easier,” said SVO President Jackson Gray. “When we thought about it, we agreed a group that deserved this recognition were Purple Heart Veterans – those who end up sacrificing more than the rest of us.”

The honor is only bestowed upon those wounded or killed in enemy action or given to the family of those who’ve passed. In 2015, Texas was declared a Purple Heart State during the 85th Legislature. In 2018, the City of Corpus Christi was also proclaimed a Purple Heart City.

“I’m really glad to see that people in our city want to recognize these veterans for their sacrifice,” said Gray. “SVO has been working hard to get out into the community and make people aware of the resources needed by student veterans by partnering with many of the local VFW’s and even the Mayor’s Veteran Roundtable.”

Closeup image of the bottom of a special Purple Heart parking spot. It reads honor, duty, country, and service.

While two parking spots are now marked at the University’s Turtle Cove and Momentum Soccer Field parking lots, looking to the future, there are hopes to construct at least one to two spaces in each parking lot on campus.

“While a parking space cannot measure the amount of gratitude A&M-Corpus Christi holds for those who have served our country, it is one small way to express that gratitude. The Island University is proud of the projects and services we provide for our veterans, while continuously working to expand that support for those have defended our freedom,” said Dr. Kelly M. Miller, University President.  

With the support and sponsorship from the A&M System, the Island University is establishing new opportunities and resources as part of the latest veteran’s initiative, creating a more veteran-friendly campus. The University has now established a full-time Veterans Resource office, which offers assistance offering help with housing, counseling, employment, and other resources to help with the transition from active duty to civilian life.

“When we brought the idea of the Purple Heart signs to the Student Government Association and took the vote, the response of overwhelming support was amazing,” said Gray. “Our overall mission at this point is to consider how can we keep doing more. How can we continue to honor our veterans?”