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Paralyzed Veterans of America is looking to educate people about disabled parking

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Posted at 6:46 AM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 09:52:37-04

As the country returns to normalcy, you've probably noticed busy stores and parking lots.

While it might be frustrating to find parking, it's a hazard if you're disabled and can't access handicapped parking.

This summer, Paralyzed Veterans of America is hoping you'll "Honor The Spot."

Marco Bungert joined the military right out of high school and planned to make a service career until a car accident forever changed his path.

"Paralyzed from the chest down, from here down, and I remember laying in the hospital thinking my life is pretty much over," Bungert said.

Twenty-eight years later, Bungert is a father of four who found a love of adaptive water skiing.

His life is normal and busy.

Like everyone else, he's out and about and is featured in a new public service announcement about something he deals with daily.

"There's not enough parking, and there's limited parking anyway," Bungert said. "People are parking without the handicapped placards. I see people pulling in and running out real quick, blocking spaces."

He wants to educate people about disabled parking.

"We need those spaces to get our wheelchairs out," Bungert said. "A lot of people when they see me, they don't think 'I'm in a wheelchair,' but I need that space to get my chair in and out. Others have vans that use ramps, so they need those painted lines so they can get their ramps out."

World War II veterans founded Paralyzed Veterans of America 75 years ago and still advocates for accessibility for the disabled.

It's been a battle that Anne Robinson, the National Director for the Texas Chapter, has been fighting for years.

"A law opened that allowed people with non-mobility issues to park in handicapped parking without significant designation, so PVA took on the challenge of the Texas legislature and lobbied for a change in parking," Robinson said.

That law will change for Texans this January.

On the national stage, Robinson is hoping people will see, hear, and remember the plight of the disabled.

"I use a power wheelchair when I go out, and I drive with my chin, so when I go out, a large parking spot is what I need to be safe," Robinson said.