You may have seen Purple Heart license plates in the area. Now a metro organization is also offering a salute for those wounded in combat -- right at the front door.
We walk by them every day: combat-wounded veterans who have transitioned quietly into civilian life.
John Folson, with Wounded Warriors Family Support, said, "We recognize that these men and women live among us in our communities and they need to be recognized for their past service."
John is a Marine Corps veteran who came up with an idea to honor the veterans one business at a time.
He said, “This is the way that a business owner can show his or her appreciation for combat wounded by reserving a parking space."
The Nebraska-based group made 500 aluminum signs designated for the combat wounded just as a handicapped space.
In Council Bluffs, business owner Scott McMullen, of McMullen Ford, ordered the first one.
Scott said, “We are enjoying the liberties as we sit here and speak. We're free. We can say, do what we want. These other people have been out protecting us."
And many have been hurt in the process. More than 50,000 service men and women have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, a number that hits close to home for many Texas Roadhouse customers in Bellevue
Steve Jackson said, I'll tell you, the response has just been overwhelming. I'll have people just stop in the restaurant to come in and shake my hand and say, ‘hey, we appreciate what you do.’"
The response has been nationwide. The signs have popped up in cities like Sugarland, Texas; Danvers, Massachusetts; Temecula, California and dozens of other places. In addition, Wounded Warriors Family Support is now shipping out 500 more signs.
“The sign is one thing but when you talk about real human beings and how that affects them and the stories behind them, that's when it really gets personal," Folson said.
Wounded Warriors Family Support does not charge for the signs but organizers say when posted they must comply with DOT rules.