RIDGE ADMINISTRATION UNVEILS NEW LICENSE PLATE TO COMMEMORATE THE SACRIFICE, COURAGE AND PATRIOTISM OF VIETNAM VETERANS

Harrisburg (Nov. 16, 1999) -- On behalf of Gov. Tom Ridge, state Transportation Deputy Secretary for Safety Administration Betty Serian and Deputy Adjutant General for Veterans Affairs John L. Patten today introduced Pennsylvania’s new Vietnam Conflict license plate to commemorate the sacrifice, courage and patriotism of the Pennsylvanians that served in Vietnam.

"The Ridge Administration is extremely proud to unveil Pennsylvania’s newest U.S. military veterans’ license plate," Serian said. "With this plate, we celebrate the men and women who valiantly served in Vietnam, and we commemorate the 58,000 men and women who did not return."

Gov. Ridge signed House Bill 433 into law in December 1998, creating the new plate. Any Commonwealth veteran who holds the Vietnam Service Medal and served in Vietnam between July 3, 1965, and March 28, 1973, or who holds the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for serving in Vietnam between July 1, 1958, and July 3, 1965, may apply for the new license plate. Qualified veterans interested in obtaining the plate must provide a legible, certified copy of Form DD214, separation papers or discharge papers indicating award of one of the required medals.

"Pennsylvania’s sons and daughters willingly served in Vietnam -- out of noble belief in duty, honor and service to country," Brig. Gen. Patten said. "In the face of a determined enemy, these Pennsylvanians served with uncommon gallantry."

Serian and Patten were joined by Sen. Robert D. Robbins (R-Mercer), Rep. Peter J. Zug (R-Lebanon) and other members of the Senate and House military and veterans affairs committees, and leaders of the Commonwealth’s major veterans’ service organizations.

Patten presented Sen. Robbins with one of the license plates. Robbins served two combat tours in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division.

"I’m proud to have served with the men and women of my generation in Vietnam," said Sen. Robbins. "And I’m also proud to have helped make this plate that honors them a reality."

The Vietnam Conflict license plate has a white background with "Vietnam War Veteran" across the top and "Pennsylvania" across the bottom of the plate, both in red lettering. The license-plate number itself, as well as an outline of the Vietnam Service Medal on the left side of the plate, appears in blue.

The Vietnam Conflict license plate joins Pennsylvania’s other special U.S. military veterans’ license plates, including those honoring ex-prisoners of war; Purple Heart Medal recipients; Pearl Harbor survivors; Korean War veterans; Persian Gulf War veterans; World War II veterans; and those who served in expeditionary forces.

Applications for the new license plate are available at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Driver and Vehicle Service Centers in Harrisburg, Dauphin County; Rockview/Pleasant Gap, Centre County; Snydersville, Monroe County; and Huntingdon Valley, Montgomery County. They’re also available through most notaries public and PennDOT-approved messenger services statewide.

Motorists also may obtain applications through the Pennsylvania homepage, www.state.pa.us. Click on the license plate to reach PennDOT’s website, select "Driver and Vehicle Services" and choose "download forms and fact sheets" to obtain "MV-150, Application for Special U.S. Military Veteran Registration Plate."

Qualified veterans interested in obtaining one of the first 200 plates issued should contact Jim Davison of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs directly at (717) 861-2856.

The Vietnam Conflict license plate may be registered to passenger cars and trucks/motor homes with a registered gross weight of not more than 9,000 pounds. The cost of the new license plate is $20.