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Veteran: ‘Brave souls’ deserve special plate

Albuquerque Journal - 6/4/2018

NOT JUST ANYONE CAN GET A VETERAN LICENSE PLATE: Kenneth Cooper says in an email, “While in the military I gained great respect for those brave souls who were directly involved in the realm of danger, who were actually involved in battle, and most of all, those wounded who received Purple Heart medals in the height of battle. I spent three years working on the flight deck the U.S.S. Midway and spent more years yet flying air crew in P2V patrol squadrons — but I experienced no direct involvement in battle, so no purple-and-gold plate for me please. Personally, I would like to see the purple-and-gold plates reserved exclusively for those who actually received the Purple Heart Medal.”

Kenneth says, “An armed forces veteran’s plate with an eagle as its symbol in (the) same color pattern (as the National Guard white-to-orange sunrise plate) would be good. And maybe, just maybe, more veterans — for instance those who feel uncomfortable with having Purple Heart colors for their plate — just might sign up for one. I certainly would.”

While many of the state’s armed services plates are that dark blue/purple and gold, know that there are specific documents that must be presented for a vehicle owner to get a military service plate as well as one of the 22 special veteran-designation decals.

Benjamin Cloutier, who handles info for the state’s Motor Vehicle Division, points us to mvd.newmexico.gov/ military-and-veterans.aspx for details.

And there it makes it clear that:

1. Armed Forces Veterans plates are available for any individual who is a veteran of the armed forces of the United States or is retired from the National Guard or military reserves, with proof satisfactory to the department of honorable discharge from the armed forces or of retirement from the national guard or military reserves.

2. Purple Heart license plates are reserved for “any person who is a veteran and a bona fide Purple Heart medal recipient and submits proof that he has been awarded that medal. No fee, including the regular registration fee, shall be collected for issuance of a Purple Heart plate.”

Veteran plates run $17, $9 for motorcycles, and have no added fee for regular registration renewal.

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; dwestphal@ abqjournal.com; or P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103.


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