ANNAPOLIS (Dec. 19, 2007) Governor Martin OMalley and Lt. Governor Brown, joined by Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary James Adkins and MVA Administrator John Kuo, yesterday unveiled the Gold Star Family license plate 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 Marylands Gold Star Families.
The Department of Defense, under the authority of the U.S. Code, presents the Gold Star pin to immediate family members of service personnel who were killed in action during wartime service. Ninety Marylanders have died in recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Gold Star plates are issued to parents, children, or spouses of the respective service person. 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. The plate will be available February 2008. The Motor Vehicle Administration will begin taking applications on December 19, 2007.
I am honored to unveil 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 OMalley. This license plate will 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. We would not be the strong state we are today, if it was not for generations of common Americans who have achieved uncommon things. This recognition is the least we can offer in remembrance of these fallen soldiers loved ones.
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has partnered with the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs to design the license plate. 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.