FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|CONTACT:||Buel C. Young||MVA Media Relations|
NEW LICENSE PLATE HONORING MARYLAND’S FALLEN SOLDIERS IS NOW AVAILABLE
Family Members Can Apply For The Gold Star Plate At The Glen Burnie MVA
GLEN BURNIE, MD (March 6, 2008)-- Maryland Motor Vehicle Administrator John Kuo and Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary James Adkins today announced that the Gold Star Family license plate is now available at the Glen Burnie Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). In December, Governor Martin O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown unveiled a new license plate designed to recognize and honor the service and sacrifice of those Maryland families who have been awarded the Gold Star pin by the U.S. Department of Defense. Maryland has numerous military and veteran-related license plates. Until now, there was no plate to recognize the sacrifice of Maryland’s Gold Star Families.
“I am honored to offer the Gold Star license plate today to pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation and their families,” said Governor O’Malley. “We are now able to issue these license plates and give our families and our fellow citizens one more opportunity to honor those we had the privilege to call our friends, our neighbors and our loved ones.”
The idea for the Gold Star Family license plate came from the family of Staff Sergeant Christopher Swanson who was killed during his third tour in Iraq in July of 2006. The Swanson family was the first to receive the new license plate. To date, the MVA has issued 38 Gold Star Family plates.
“Our family would like to thank Governor O’Malley and our elected and appointed officials for their assistance, compassion and commitment to Maryland veterans and Gold Star Families,” Gary Swanson said. “This is a plate that we hope no other family has to display. For those of us who choose, we will display it with honor in remembrance of the sacrifices that our loved ones have made on behalf of our great country and state.”
The Department of Defense presents the Gold Star pin to immediate family members of service personnel who lost their lives while serving their country. Ninety-one Marylanders have died in our most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“For more than two hundred and thirty years, Marylanders have answered the call for service to this nation in uniform. It is fitting and appropriate that we honor our fallen heroes and their families with this tribute for their unselfish service and sacrifice,” said Secretary Adkins.
Gold Star plates are issued to parents, children, or spouses of members of the military who were killed in action during wartime service. Each person who meets the requirements under the Federal Gold Star DD Form 3 is eligible to purchase a plate. The plates may only be obtained through the Glen Burnie MVA Headquarters. For additional information or to download the required application for military-related license plates (form # VR-120), please visit the MVA website at: www.mva.maryland.gov/Vehicle-Services/SpecialtyPlates/GoldStar.htm.