Student proposes special parking for wounded vets


By Michael Seffrin - [email protected]



Cole Hofmann, left, and City Councilman Joe Ratermann hold a parking sign like those that would be erected at a number of spots under Hofmann’s proposal. Hofmann, a Sidney High School student, has undertaken a Combat Parking project to designate spaces for wounded warriors, Purple Heart recipients, or any veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He presented the proposal to Sidney City Council Monday night.

Cole Hofmann, left, and City Councilman Joe Ratermann hold a parking sign like those that would be erected at a number of spots under Hofmann’s proposal. Hofmann, a Sidney High School student, has undertaken a Combat Parking project to designate spaces for wounded warriors, Purple Heart recipients, or any veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He presented the proposal to Sidney City Council Monday night.


SIDNEY — What began as a project for an American government class at high school will honor and benefit wounded military veterans.

Cole Hofmann, a Sidney High School junior, got an enthusiastic reaction from Sidney City Council Monday night when he presented his project for a Combat Parking program.

Combat Parking is for wounded warriors, Purple Heart recipients, or any veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Hofmann is proposing parking spots be reserved for these veterans in multiple locations throughout Sidney on public and private properties.

In his report to council about Hofmann’s request, City Manager Mark Cundiff said Sidney would be one of 16 cities in Ohio to have such a program, including Troy, Miamisburg and Dayton.

The parking plates are donated by the Wounded Warrior Family Support organization and would be erected by volunteers with some technical assistance from the city, Cundiff said. The signs must be erected according to local guidelines that apply to similar handicap parking signs. The signs would not be regulated by the city; therefore the honor system would have to be used by those parking in the spaces.

Hofmann told council he already has commitments from Sidney and Lehman Catholic High schools to allow the special parking spaces on their properties. He is waiting on the OK from several businesses, agencies and the city of Sidney.

There will be no expense to the businesses and others who allow the parking signs to be erected. “It’s all volunteer work,” Hofmann said. The only expense is for shipping labels to get the signs, which is $50 for 100 signs, he said.

Hofmann, the son of Jon and Monica Hofmann, said his proposal is an “apathy project” he came up with as part of his American government class. Students were challenged to do a project to counter apathy in society. As Hofmann began to research Combat Parking, “I thought maybe that would be a good idea,” he said.

Although he liked the project, Councilman Darryl Thurber wondered if veterans with PTSD, but not a Purple Heart, would realize they could use the special parking spaces.

Hofmann said information would be spread through the news and social media. Mayor Mike Barhorst added that veterans groups also “would get the word out.”

“I want to thank you for taking this on,” Thurber told Hofmann.

Cole Hofmann, left, and City Councilman Joe Ratermann hold a parking sign like those that would be erected at a number of spots under Hofmann’s proposal. Hofmann, a Sidney High School student, has undertaken a Combat Parking project to designate spaces for wounded warriors, Purple Heart recipients, or any veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He presented the proposal to Sidney City Council Monday night.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2016/02/web1_Wounded-warrior-parking.jpgCole Hofmann, left, and City Councilman Joe Ratermann hold a parking sign like those that would be erected at a number of spots under Hofmann’s proposal. Hofmann, a Sidney High School student, has undertaken a Combat Parking project to designate spaces for wounded warriors, Purple Heart recipients, or any veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He presented the proposal to Sidney City Council Monday night.

By Michael Seffrin

[email protected]

The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823.

The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823.