Ole Miss honors Purple Heart students with special parking

OXFORD, MS (WMC) - Purple Heart recipients who attend school at University of Mississippi will be able to park in any parking spot on campus.

Ole Miss announced Tuesday its Purple Heart Recognition Program will be creating special parking passes for students who have received Purple Hearts. The passes allow the students to park anywhere they would like on campus.

"While we do have the one Purple Heart parking space, they're able to park anywhere," Ole Miss Assistant Director of Veteran and Military Services Andrew Newby said. "The space is more of a sign of institutional commitment."

Sophomore Don Zielenski was the first student to receive the new parking pass. He said he felt honored to be chosen.

"I think it's going to be a huge progression to show the community that not only can we serve our country on the battlefield, but we can go get our education and continue to serve our country in the field of academics," Zielenski said.

Zielenski earned two Purple Hearts while serving as a cavalry scout in the U.S. Army. He also earned a Bronze Star Medal with Valor.

Ole Miss has previously been recognized as a Purple Heart University--it's one of four SEC schools to hold the designation.

"The special things that Ole Miss does specifically for veterans that attend the university are what qualify them to become a Purple Heart University," said Ben Baker, commander of the Oxford Purple Heart Chapter.

Ole Miss is home to 1,355 military-connected students, 959 of whom are using GI Education Benefits.

To learn more about veteran and military services at Ole Miss, visit https://vms.olemiss.edu/.

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