Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine signs HB 6022 into law Sept. 25 in Richmond. The bill authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to create an Iraqi Freedom Veteran license plate for veterans of the war in Iraq. (Photo by Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)
RICHMOND — On Sept. 25 Gov. Tim Kaine signed HB 6022 into law which authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to create an Iraqi Freedom Veteran license plate for veterans of the war in Iraq.
In attendance were dozens of veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom to include a number of wounded warriors, Del. Bill Janis, Secretary of Public Safety John Marshall and the members of the Iraqi Freedom Veterans Plate Project.
The Iraqi Freedom Veterans Plate Project was formed by Iraq veterans and cousins Rusty McGuire and James McGuire. They joined with fellow veteran Brian Pearce, who moved to the area following injuries he sustained in Iraq. Together they formed the Iraqi Freedom Veteran's plate project on Memorial Day 2008 and announced their intentions to establish this plate in Virginia.
Initially, they anticipated working toward having a bill passed in the 2009 session of the General Assembly but when Gov. Tim Kaine called a special session on transportation in July 2008 this project went into overdrive. Del. Bill Janis introduced HB 6022 and it passed unanimously in every vote in both the house and senate and passed in six weeks from conception.
When commenting on the success of this project IFVPP, chairman Rusty McGuire said, "We are honored that the legislature and our community came together to help make this project a resounding success. We are proud to call ourselves veterans and Virginians and every time we see one of these plates we will remember those who did not come home."
With the governor's signature, the law will go into effect Nov. 1, 2008. The Iraqi Freedom Veteran's Plate Project is working with the Department of Motor Vehicles to have the plates ready as soon as possible.
The IFVPP will continue to update veterans on the progress of the plate production and availability at their website www.myspace.com/ifvplate. D.M.V. will make the plate available to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom for a service fee of $10.00.