Parking spaces reserved for all those who served

Jun 01, 2017

In a public statement City Manager Rebecca Polizzotto noted: “Councilmember Vince Cavaleri approached me with the idea of designating certain parking spaces around Mill Creek for combat-wounded veterans, and we whole-heartedly embraced the idea. It is our honor to show these members of the military some gesture of appreciation”

Parking spaces reserved for veterans is a wonderful gesture to salute some of the men and women who are serving or dared to serve in militarily in service of our country. But Vince’s idea needed to have a lot more vetting before our city leaders immediately took action on his idea.

As a Vietnam Era Veteran who was stationed a few miles from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which separates South and North Korea, I agree our city should have an ordnance which salutes all current U.S. Armed Forces personnel and all those who have been honorably discharged from our country’s call to duty.

During my Basic Army Training, it was constantly drummed into us the military chain of command does matter, as well as the sacredness of the hierarchical ladder of the Armed Forces medals matter.

Awards are given to individuals serving in the U.S. Military for distinguished heroism, valor and service. From my research on Google, the highest-ranking medals for the Army are in this order of precedence: (The other four branches outside the Medal of Honor have some different medals and their own rankings.)

1. Medal of Honor
2. Distinguished Service Cross
3. Defense Distinguished Service Medal
4. Distinguished Service Medal
5. Silver Star
6. Defense Superior Service Medal
7. Legion of Merit
8. Distinguished Flying Cross
9. Soldier's Medal
10. Bronze Star Medal
11. Purple Heart (PH)
12. Defense Meritorious Service Medal
13. Meritorious Service Medal
14. Air Medal
15. Joint Service Commendation Medal16. Army Commendation Medal
17. Joint Service Achievement Medal
18. Army Achievement Medal
19. POW Medal
20. Good Conduct Medal (Army)
21. Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal
22. American Defense Service Medal
23. Women's Army Corps Service Medal
24. American Campaign Medal
25. Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
26. European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
27. World War II Victory Medal
28. Army of Occupation Medal
29. Medal for Humane Action
30. National Defense Service Medal31. Korean Service Medal
32. Antartica Service Medal
33. Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
34. Vietnam Service Medal
35. Southwest Asia Service Medal
36. Armed Forces Service Medal
37. Humanitarian Service Medal
38. Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
39. Armed Forces Reserve Medal
40. NCO Professional Development Ribbon
41. Army Service Ribbon
42. Overseas Service Ribbon
43. Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon

So, in line with our U.S. Legislative bodies and supported by Presidential actions, I believe our Mill Creek leaders newly passed ordinance, which just honors individuals who have earned the Purple Heart (PH), is overlooking the strict military standards of the “Pyramid of Military Honors.”

If you read over the top 20 out of 43 medals authorized by Congress, you can see that the Purple Heart ranks as No. 11 on that prestigious list. So why did our city council, with strong support from Rebecca, order a parking space for those honorable servicemen and women and not for any of the other higher decorated and courageous American warriors?

What if a service person who did not earn a Purple Heart received one of the prestigious top 10 medals would park in the spot reserved for those injured in action? Would the police officer be required to ticket the “offender”? Probably not. So why is our city only allowing Purple Heart recipients have special parking places?

As a veteran, I am respectfully submitting that Councilmember Cavaleri and other members of the Mill Creek leadership team should just skip the US Government’s “Pyramid of Honor” altogether. Then instead of giving this very special parking space acknowledgement to just a few of our servicewomen and servicemen, as Calvaleri proposed, I suggest the assign parking space be for the use of any active or honorably discharged Veteran.

Darn right, when a Mill Creek resident earns the prestigious Medal of Honor “for service above and beyond”, then by all means the City of Mill Creek should hold that recipient in our highest esteem!

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