An Independence Day ceremony dedicating 10 signs for specially designated parking spaces, five for disabled veterans and five for wounded warriors, was held at Walmart in Mineral Wells Friday morning.
“There is probably not a more appropriate day than today, July 4, to dedicate these signs for veterans who are disabled and those who were wounded,” said Mineral Wells Mayor Mike Allen, who is also a veteran.
“We have an opportunity to honor the people who have served to keep all of us free,” continued Allen. “I would like to personally thank Jim Vines and 1st Sgt. Jim (Flowerree) and wife, Ulli, and I give them the mayor’s seal of approval and a salute.”
Allen said he would like for everyone to spread the word that these parking places are on an honor system and hoped the people of Mineral Wells will respect and honor that system for the people who have earned it. He said there would not be a city ordinance to enforce compliance.
AMVETS Post 133 Commander Jim Vines came up with the idea, and as he spoke about it with Walmart store manager Ulli Flowerree, she told Vines that her husband, retired Army 1st Sgt. Jim Flowerree, had been thinking along those same lines. They began taking the necessary steps to make the idea come to fruition. Ulli Flowerree received corporate approval and found someone to design the signs.
“I’m really surprised someone else had never thought of doing this before,” said Vines. “As far as I know, this Walmart is the first in the state to act upon the idea. Ulli Flowerree has been instrumental in making this happen, and I am glad that we were able to get it done for these vets.”
Jim Flowerree praised his wife for her efforts in making his dream come true.
The signs were made by Texas Insta Print in Granbury, and created by graphic artist Sarah Klein.
“I designed the disabled veteran’s sign from scratch,” said Klein. “Jim Vines, who was instrumental in getting the idea started, had to get permission to use the Wounded Warriors logo for that sign.
“These signs have been a long time coming and I’m proud to be a part of it,” she continued. “We are all hoping that this will catch on throughout the nation, and even if the signs are not purchased from us, at least we have brought awareness to the need for them. It’s time to show some respect and honor these individuals who have given so much for this country.”
The signs can be purchased by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone 817-579-0423.