It's reserved - But is it deserved?
A video posted on Youtube.com shows hybrid vehicles being allowed to park closer than wounded service members living at the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU).
It’s a hybrid versus handicapped battle brought forward by a solider staying at the Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston facility.
Kent Ployhar lives at the Warrior Transition Unit after being injured by a grenade attack overseas. Eventually, he'll walk again. But not everyone living at the WTU is that lucky. So, after just a week of living at the complex, Kent posted a Youtube video.
“This is a place set up for handicapped people, handicapped soldiers, and the parking definitely wasn't handicapped friendly,” Ployhar told us.
When News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooter Mireya Villarreal got a hold of the video she immediately contacted leaders with Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston (JBSA). She was told the WTU was built with the environment in mind.
"The services require now that all new construction be, what is called, LEED Silver Certifiable, and that they contain certain environmental qualities,” Brent Boller, JBSA Fort Sam Houston spokesperson, explained.
The WTU is ADA certified. But to be considered LEED Silver Certified there had to be a number of hybrid parking spots located near the buildings. It's an incentive for drivers to go green. But within a few hours of pointing out Kent's issue with the parking, base leaders decided to change these spots to handicapped ones.
"Certainly, environmental consciousness is important in the Department of Defense and here at Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston. But nothing is more important than taking care of our wounded service personnel,” Boller added.
The news was overwhelming for Kent, who told us he never believed one person could affect this kind of change so quickly, until now.
"Here I am, I've still got all my limbs. And if I can do one little thing to make their life that much easier, that's what I'm all about,” Kent said.
After the funding is approved it could take about 4-6 weeks to get these spots changed over to handicapped spots.