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One of Tennessee’s newest license plates gives relatives of members of the U.S. Armed Forces a way to display their support for the troops.
The plates, issued under a new law sponsored by state Sen. Ken Yager, R-Harriman, are now available to residents whose spouse, parent, sibling or child is serving in the armed forces of the United States at the time of application.
"Today, we live in a free country because of the sacrifices of our nation’s servicemen and women and their families,” Yager said.
“Many have been injured or given their lives while fighting to defend the freedom and the liberties we cherish as Americans.”
He added, “I am deeply honored to have sponsored this legislation on behalf of all military families who have also played a vital role in service to this state and nation in supporting our troops here at home.”
Yager took the bill to the legislature at the suggestion of a constituent, Ronda Stewart, whose son, Staff Sgt. Ken Stewart, serves in the U.S. Air Force.
The tag is designed after the Blue Star Banner which signifies a person who has a relative actively serving in the military.
About 1,000 Blue Star Family tags are now available in Tennessee.
The applicant must provide a letter from the military member’s commanding officer as proof of current membership to receive the tag.
A separate letter must be submitted for each renewal year.
The annual fee for automobile registration is $21.50 with an initial fee of $25.75 required.
Blue Star Families was formed in December 2008 by a group of military spouses to raise the awareness of the challenges of military family life with civilian communities and leaders.
The group has grown to include spouses and families from all services and all walks of life, including National Guard and Reserve.
“The Blue Star organization is a wonderful support group for our troops,” added Yager.
“I am just proud to have helped raise awareness to their cause and help to provide this sign of support for our troops.”