Monday, July 23, 2007

Special Veterans' License Plates

Maurice Rockett's Distinguished Flying Cross Plate. Maurice received his DFC as a B-17 bombardier over Europe in WWII. He also received the Purple Heart and Air Medal.

Many states in the United States have special veterans' license plates. In some states, the plates are provided free for life to the veteran, a nice tribute and a deserved one.

The owner of this plate got his Purple Heart on Iwo Jima.

Over the years, I have seen many unique veterans' plates. Last summer, while at Crater Lake, I spotted an older gentleman getting out of his car. He had 'Pearl Harbor Survivor' plates on his car, so I made sure to go over and salute him and thank him. I've also seen Prisoner of War plates, Purple Heart plates, and Medal of Honor plates (these last are very rare).

Idaho features veterans' plates for the four major armed forces: Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. It also has a Prisoner of War plate, and plates can also specify specific wars if a veteran is a war veteran. The most common at the present are Persian Gulf and Vietnam, but there are still a few World War Two and Korea plates in town.

Several of Idaho's specialized plates (above).

Korean War vet's plate.

These plates are available to vets who suffered radiation poisoning from 1946 to 1964 or thereabouts.

The plate at the top of this story can be found on the car of Maurice and Grace Rockett, of Wayland, Massachusetts. In addition to the Distinguished Flying Cross, Maurice also received the Air Medal, the Purple Heart and other awards as a bombardier in the 95th Bomb Group in Europe in World War Two.

It's my own opinion that these plates should be free to all war veterans for life. To do this, the Division of Motor Vehicles could solicit each person who buys plates for a one dollar contribution to offset the cost of the free plates for veterans.

Any opinions on this from readers?
Lest we forget......


Les said...

I second the motion Rob. They should be free to all vets for life. It's the very, very least we can do for our brave heroes. I don't know what the policy is here in MA, but I'll see if I can find out. Maurice probably already knows. I'll start with him.

Those are some great license plate photos you've got there. This blog never disappoints.

r morris said...

Les, thanks so much for your comment. If it wasn't for you and Richard and a few other readers, I'm not sure I would write as often as I do.