NEWS: Legislation to Honor Veterans with Combat Award License Plates Passes the Alaska House

Rep. Les Gara

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8 2015

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 61 to honor those veterans who have demonstrated valor in combat while in the line of duty.  Current law leaves out license plate designations for most of the important “valor in combat” medals. 

The prime sponsors of HB 61 are Reps. Les Gara (D-Anchorage), Liz Vasquez (R-Anchorage), Bob Lynn (R-Anchorage), Gabrielle LeDoux (R-Anchorage) and Max Gruenberg (D-Anchorage).

“We have a duty to honor those who have defended our country through their bravery in combat,” said Rep. Gara.  “Allowing these brave men and women an honor from their state in no way fully repays them for all that they have given.  It’s a small gesture but an important one.”

Under HB 61, the Silver and Bronze Star-V medals and Distinguished Crosses would be added to the list of military license plates.  The Medal of Honor is already recognized by the Division of Motor Vehicles.  These are the four highest awards for valor in combat. 

HB 61 also includes a provision to allow the DMV to add any new medals honoring valor in combat when requested by a recipient with no requirement for new legislation.

“Many people and organizations deserve thanks for passage of this bill including the Alaska Native Veterans Association, individual veterans, and medal recipients,” said Rep. Gara.  “I especially want to thank the co-sponsors and Rep. Bob Heron (D-Bethel) for their support and assistance.” 

HB 61 now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.

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