Marco Bungert,,Paralyzed Veterans of America spokesperson says honor the spot started over 75 years when the World War II vets came home and their community wasn’t accessible for them, their homes, so they fought for our accessibility and Honor the Spot is continuing the fight with parking.
Marco joined the military at 18 right out of high school. He served for two years before he got hurt in a car accident which left him paralyzed from the chest down. He says nineteen years old and I’m lying in a hospital thinking my life is pretty much over and I’ll never be able to do anything and a PVA officer came in and explained all the benefits that were available to me like making my home accessible, my car adapted so I could drive. Marco is still able to play sports and be active which led him to be able to represent USA in 2019 in Norway with adaptive skiing. He says without PVA providing all this information, I wouldn’t be here today so I am just paying it forward and happy to be on this campaign, Honor the Spot and spreading the word.
How big is the issue of unavailability of sparking spots for people who have disabilities? Marco says it’s a pretty big issue. Some places have limited parking anyway and there was a survey done with people with disabilities and 85% experienced this kind of issue in their communities and over half just turn around and go home. He says we need those spots to make appointments, go to the grocery store so we can feed our families and go to different activities, so it is very important that we have those spots available for us because it is part of our independence.
People should know there are abuses going on out Marco highlighted some of them. He says some people park there out of convenience thinking I’m only going to be there for a few minutes not realizing they are taking that spot away from someone who actually needs it, and sharing the placards or borrowing the placards are the most common things that are going on. He says there are times where people are blocking the spaces in between so there was an experience with my family where we went out to eat and when we came out somebody blocked that spot. I need that space to get in and out because I use a wheelchair.
What can people do to be a part of the solution and not part of the problem? Marco says to go to PVA.org/honorthespot and join the pledge, join PVA and spread the word. He says go to the website, learn and educate yourselves so you can educate others.
For more information go to PVA.org/honorthespot