STATEHOUSE (Jan. 26, 2021) – State Rep. Chris Judy's (R-Fort Wayne) legislation that would grant surviving spouses the ability to obtain a Purple Heart license plate in honor of their loved ones advanced unanimously out of the House Roads and Transportation Committee today.
Currently, Purple Heart recipients who have the specialty license plate can request multiple plates for vehicles registered under his or her name, which could include a spouse's vehicle. However, Judy said when the veteran passes away, the spouse cannot renew the Purple Heart plate.
"A constituent reached out to speak with me about this issue that affected her sister whose husband was a Purple Heart recipient that served in Vietnam," Judy said. "As a veteran, I was saddened to learn spouses could not continue honoring their loved one's sacrifice for our nation by continuing to display the Purple Heart license plate. This is a simple fix, and I hope it helps all those affected."
Eligible recipients are required to fill out an application and include documentation of Award of Purple Heart Medal before submitting it to the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs.
State Rep. David Abbott (R-Rome City) and his wife, who lost their son, Nicholas, in combat on May 12, 2007, are one of many Gold Star Indiana families. Abbott, who is a co-author of the bill, said Nicholas was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
"For those of us that live everyday with the pain of losing a child, a husband, a wife or any family member, remembering and honoring them becomes necessary," Abbott said. "Extending the opportunity to those spouses that have suffered such a great loss is the right thing to do."
For those currently eligible for a Purple Heart license plate, visit in.gov/bmv to apply.
State Rep. David Abbott (R-Rome City) represents House District 82, which includes
all of Noble County and portions of Allen, Elkhart, LaGrange and Whitley counties.
Click here for a high-resolution photo.
State Rep. Chris Judy (R-Fort Wayne) represents House District 83,
which includes portions of Allen and Whitley counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.
CAPTION: State Rep. Chris Judy (R-Fort Wayne), left, speaks with Department of Indiana Veterans of Foreign Wars Jr. Vice Commander Richard Leirer, center, and Disabled American Veterans-Department of Indiana Legislative Chair Judy King, right, and others before House Bill 1039 passed unanimously out of the House Roads and Transportation Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, at the Indiana State Government Center South in Indianapolis.