Local Vietnam veteran’s idea becomes new law in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG – Governor Tom Corbett recently signed legislation sponsored by Senator David G. Argall (R-29) into law that creates new specialty license plates honoring the exceptional military service of Pennsylvania residents.

“Pennsylvania veterans who earn achievements during their service should be recognized for their dedication to this nation,” Argall said. “I am pleased to see his idea become a reality for all Pennsylvania veterans.”

Argall introduced Senate Bill 1187 at the request of Vietnam veteran Joe Soga of Berks County. The new measure creates a number of new license plates designed to honor the service of Pennsylvania veterans. The bill was originally intended to create license plates for Army veterans who earned the Combat Infantry Badge during their tour of duty.

“I would like to thank Senator Argall for his efforts to honor my fellow veterans by introducing legislation to establish a Combat Infantry Badge license plate,” Soga said.

In addition to the new plate honoring Combat Infantry Badge recipients, the proposal was amended in the Senate and House to provide for other license plates honoring military service. Servicemen and women earning the Combat Action Ribbon (Marines, Navy and Coast Guard), Combat Action Badge (Air Force), Combat Action Medal (Army) and Combat Medical Badge (Army medics) will be able to show their achievements on their Pennsylvania-registered automobile.

The new measure expands eligibility for Merchant Marines plates for those who served during the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Desert Shield.

Several other specialty plates are included in the law, including a new “Pennsylvania Monuments” license plate that will provide funding for restoration projects in Gettysburg National Military Park. Additional specialty plates will include an “In God We Trust” plate and a “United States Olympic” plate, with proceeds of the latter assisting the amateur athletes from Pennsylvania who advance to the Olympic Games. The proposal also includes the creation of new Hunting Heritage plates to fund conservation, youth hunting and game donation programs.

The new license plates will be available in November.

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