Berks County veteran’s suggestion becomes law, attends bill signing with governor

HARRISBURG – When Joe Soga approached Senator David G. Argall (R-29) at a Berks Patriots event in September of 2013 with an idea to create a new specialty license plate for veterans with distinguished service, he never imagined he’d sit next to the governor when the proposal was signed into law. 

Soga, a Berks County resident and Vietnam veteran, joined Argall at a ceremonial bill signing with Governor Corbett at the state Capitol on Monday afternoon.

Soga approached Argall with an idea to create the Combat Infantry Badge specialty license plate after attending national veterans’ events and seeing other state’s license plates recognizing this distinguished honor.

Argall introduced Senate Bill 1187, which received unanimous support through the legislative process.

“This is a great day for me and my fellow Veterans that have served in the Armed Forces,” Soga said. “I want to thank Senator Argall for leading the way on this special bill, along with the Senate of Pennsylvania, the House of Representatives and Governor Corbett.”

“I am pleased to see Joe’s idea become a reality for all Pennsylvania veterans,” Argall added.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recently created applications for the new specialty plates created by Argall’s legislation. Argall plans on presenting Soga with the first-minted Combat Infantry Badge license plate during a veterans’ recognition event hosted by the Berks Patriots in December.

The legislation was later amended to include a wide range of other military honors, including those who earned the Combat Action Ribbon (Marines, Navy and Coast Guard), Combat Action Badge (Air Force), Combat Action Medal (Army) and Combat Medical Badge (Army medics).

Applications for the new military plates are available on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Driver and Vehicle Services webpage at Applicants must complete Form MV-150 in order to receive a U.S. military service registration plate.

Residents may also contact Sen. Argall’s office toll-free at 1-877-327-4255 to have an application mailed to them.

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