It wasn't something he was used to, but Johnny Galloway of Comanche County, said he was happy to see the special parking spaces at Wal-Mart in Stephenville this week.
According to store officials, the signs were put in place last month by a local resident who asked the store for permission to place two signs in their parking lot. The signs, which state "Reserved Wounded War Veteran Parking Only," are located in front of handicap parking spaces in front of each door.
"I'm just over here to bring my wife to the doctor and we had some shopping to do," Galloway, who served during the US invasion of Panama and the Persian Gulf War, said. "When I saw the sign, I figured it applied to me. I've got the Disabled Vet license plate after all."
He said he was more than pleased to see the signs and hopes whoever is in charge of putting them up continues their inspiring work.
And that woman is Stephenville resident Tanya Lee. The single mom behind the Wounded Warrior signs said she "wanted to show a little respect to a group of people who deserve it more than most."
"I was going through a bad time a while back and I made a promise to God that if he would just help me out of this terrible situation I was in and help my two girls to grow and learn from it then I would give a portion back," Lee said.
At the time, Lee was going through a divorce and was trying to sell her home. She said shortly after making that promise, she was able to secure a contract on her house and knew she had to start somewhere.
"I just wanted to pay a little respect to someone. I hadn't gotten a lot of respect and I wanted to teach my girls about giving respect," she said. "My grandfather fought in World War II and I have a friend - Olah Canady - who was in the Navy. This was my way of honoring them in a way, too."
Lee went to Signs and Designs and had them make up the signs. She then called Wal-Mart to make the arrangements. After clearing it through the proper channels, the staff at Wal-Mart marked two of their handicapped parking signs for replacement, and Lee and her family went there on Saturday, Aug. 21, and changed the signs themselves.
"I want my girls to learn how to respect one another and how giving respect can make a difference in this world. We need to do that when we can," Lee said. "I'm not stopping at just the signs either."
The promise Lee made was to give a portion of the sale of her house to charitable organizations.
"As soon as my house closes, I'm going to give back to charities around town," Lee said. "I want to help those who can't help themselves and women like me, who've had a hard time like I've had. I have a long list of all the places I want to help and I plan on giving wherever I can."
Anyone who wants to help with additional signs can do so by calling Signs and Designs. They are $15, plus tax. Once the signs come in, Lee said she will make calls to area businesses and install the signs.
"Veterans are such a mistreated group of heroes in this country. I think some respect needs to come back to this country, starting with respecting those who risked everything so we can live free," Lee said. "I think it would be exciting to get these signs up all over town, and show our veterans just how much we appreciate what they've done."