‘Veterans Only’ parking spaces are popping up in South Florida


VIDEO: Why 'Veterans Only' parking spots don't go far enough

A South Florida city founded by World War II veterans wants to make it easier for fellow veterans to park.

The West Miami city commission passed an initiative Wednesday to designate "veterans only" parking spaces in the city, which is nestled between the Tamiami Trail and Coral Way.

The reserved spaces will be available at city-run parks and facilities. At the commission meeting, commissioner Eric Diaz-Padron, who presented the initiative, held up a sign to show how the spots will be designated. The spaces will say "Veterans Only Parking" with seals of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy.

"These spaces will not only be a showing of appreciation to our veterans, but also a functional benefit for those who fought in defense of our freedom,'' said Diaz-Padron. He said the city is looking at which spaces would get the special designation.

"I have requested that they be installed before Veterans Day, at least one will be unveiled on that day,'' he said. Veterans Day falls on Nov. 11.

How will his city's new designated parking program be enforced? The honor system.

"I have faith that people will respect our Veterans enough to not park in the space,'' said Diaz-Padron.

He noted that the parking program follows a 2016 resolution by Miami-Dade County vice chairwoman Rebeca Sosa that designated veteran spaces near elevators and entrances at county surface parking lots and garages managed by the county.

That program is aimed at serving the more than 60,000 veterans who live in Miami-Dade, according to U.S. Census figures. In 2017, the first space to get that special title was at the pool parking lot of A.D. Barnes Park off Bird Road in Miami. Broward county does not have designated parking spaces for vets, according to the county.

"While we remain forever indebted to our veterans, we must do all that we can to express our deep appreciation and admiration,'' Diaz-Padron added.

Veterans-only spaces have been popping up around South Florida. Earlier this year, Florida International University, based in Miami-Dade, added a space for veterans at the Veterans and Military affairs parking lot, according to FIU.

The space is for veterans and active, reserve and National Guard soldiers at the main campus, according to Panther.com. More spaces with signs that are marked in blue or gold and read "VETERAN PARKING," are expected on campus.

On July 15, the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office also set up a parking space for veterans in front of the sheriff's office. The sign at the space reads "Thank you for your service."

The sheriff's office said it wants to support veterans who come to the office for business.


©2019 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephane Belcher)

The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act would allow service members to seek compensation when military doctors make mistakes that harm them, but they would still be unable to file medical malpractice lawsuits against the federal government.

On Monday night, Congress announced that it had finalized the NDAA, which must be passed by the House and Senate before going to President Donald Trump. If the president signs the NDAA into law, it would mark the first time in nearly seven decades that U.S. military personnel have had legal recourse to seek payment from the military in cases of medical malpractice.

Read More Show Less
Maj. Jason Michael Musgrove (Lincoln County Sheriff's Office)

A major serving at U.S. Army Cyber Command has been charged with distributing child pornography, according to the Justice Department.

Maj. Jason Michael Musgrove, who is based at Fort Gordon, Georgia, has been remanded to the U.S. Marshals service, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia says.

Read More Show Less
Sailors from USS George Washington (CVN 73) wear-test the I-Boot 5 at Naval Station Norfolk. (U.S. Navy photo by Courtney Williams)

Navy senior leaders could decide whether or not to approve the new I-Boot 5 early in 2020, said Rob Carroll, director of the uniform matters office at the Chief of Naval Personnel's office.

"The I-Boot 5 is currently wrapping up its actual wear test, its evaluation," Carroll told Task & Purpose on Monday. "We're hoping that within the first quarter of calendar year 2020 that we'll be able to present leadership with the information that they need to make an informed decision."

Read More Show Less
Senator Jim Inhofe speaks with local reporters at a press conference held at the 138th Fighter Wing August 2, 2018. (U.S. National Guard/Staff Sgt. Rebecca R. Imwalle)

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn leveled harsh criticism last week at the contractor accused of negligence and fraudulent activity while operating private housing at Tinker Air Force Base and other military installations.

Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referred to Balfour Beatty Communities as "notorious." Horn, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told a company executive she was "incredibly disappointed you have failed to live up to your responsibility for taking care of the people that are living in these houses."

Read More Show Less
U.S. Senator Rick Scott speaks during a press conference at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, April 29, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Monica Roybal)

The Saudi national who killed three students on a U.S. Naval Air station in Pensacola was in the United States on a training exchange program.

On Sunday, Sen. Rick Scott said the United States should suspend that program, which brings foreign nationals to America for military training, pending a "full review."

Read More Show Less