An article appeared today in the Tampa Bay Times that was about people who park in handicap spaces illegally. It specifically dealt with the fraudulent use of handicap parking permits. It seems that there has been widespread abuse of these permits at the Rays games in St. Petersburg and the police have decided to crack down on the offenders. Good for them.
This situation reminds me of my brother-in-law who is a disabled Vietnam veteran. When he was 20 years old he sustained a head wound in the service of our country. After several surgeries and months of therapy he was discharged from the Army with a large piece of his skull missing and a partially paralyzed left arm and leg.
He is now 60 years old and still refuses to park in handicap spaces even though his car has DAV plates and he is well within his rights to do so. I have attended Rays games with him and he has never avoided those long, hot walks across the Trop’s parking lot. He would rather leave the restricted spaces to those who really need them, even though he still wears a metal brace on his left leg.
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance of those who have sacrificed for our freedom. Let us remember that there are still heroes among us who continue to sacrifice in the name of honor and integrity.
Every once in a while a story comes along that restores my faith in mankind. One such story occured recently in of all places, a college golf tournament. Two young men from opposing schools were tied at the end of the final round and faced a playoff. The two collegiate golfers were vying for a spot in the NAIA National Championship. The way in which this came about was that the winning team and the individual winner would be invited to compete in the nationals. A young man by the name of Grant Whybark was a member of the winning team, so his spot in the nationals was secured. The other player was Seth Dorn, a senior from the opposing school, possibly playing in his last collegiate tournament. What happened next was so unique in the world of sports that I felt compelled to pass this story along to my fellow sports fans. As Grant stood over the tee of the first playoff hole, he glanced down the fairway and the proceeded to purposely drive the ball far off to the right and way out of bounds.
When he was asked why he did this he replied "We all know Seth and he's not only is a very good player, but a great person as well. He’s a senior and had never been to nationals. Somehow, it just wasn’t in my heart to try to knock him out. "It was one of those things where I couldn’t feel good taking something from him like this. My goal from the start was to get (to nationals) with my team. I had already done that."
In these days of the win at all cost attitude, it is very impressive to me to hear of a young guy that sacrificed personal glory to do something just because he felt it was the right thing to do.