2 parking spots at Florida university now reserved for Purple Heart recipients

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two parking spots at Jacksonville University were dedicated Monday to a special group of students: Purple Heart recipients.

The spots pay tribute to the university's active-duty and veteran students who were wounded in combat and received Purple Heart medals.

The signs for the parking spaces were donated by the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 524.

JU student Sean Karpf, who spent 17 months in recovery after an IED explosion in Afghanistan resulted in a left below-the-knee amputation and a traumatic brain injury, spoke at the unveiling ceremony.

“This whole ceremony means more than you will ever know,” said an emotional Karpf, who earned a Purple Heart for his service in 2013. "When you see the love and support of the faculty and everyone here that works at JU provides, it makes you feel good and feel wanted to come to a university like this."

One of the dedicated JU parking spots is in front of the Council building across from Swisher Gymnasium. The other spot is in the parking lot in front of the Gooding building near the front of campus.

There are an estimated 1.8 million Purple Heart recipients nationwide. More than 10 JU students are medal recipients.

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