Springfield, IL. – U.S. military veterans who served during the Cold War would be able to purchase special recognition license plates marking their service during the nearly 50-year U.S./Soviet Union “Cold War” conflict under legislation approved by the Senate May 21.
“Many veterans of this era may not have been directly involved in a hostile action like the Korean conflict or Vietnam, but they served admirably and trained to be ready at a moment’s notice to go to war,” said Wilcox (R-McHenry). “The Cold War was a battle of ideologies; different ways of treating citizens and different views on freedom and government structure, but it sparked heated geopolitical tensions between the United States with our Western allies and the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc satellite nations.”
House Bill 2088, which passed the Senate by a vote of 54 to 0, authorizes the Illinois Secretary of State to issue Cold War license plates to Illinois residents that served in the U.S. Armed Forces between August 15, 1945 and January 1, 1992. The plates have no additional fee attached.
“We had many service members overseas who were in an everyday training regimen in preparation for imminent danger and the possible call to fight and protect,” said Wilcox, a U.S. Air Force veteran.
For Sen. Wilcox, who retired from the Air Force as a colonel, the license plates are a small symbol of Illinois’ gratitude and also an acknowledgement of that significant service of Cold War veterans that has largely gone unrecognized.
“I came into the Air Force in the late 80’s and during that time those who were training me through Jr. ROTC and ROTC were members of that Cold War era,” said Wilcox. “They were also part of my experience and provided mentorship during my younger days as a lieutenant and captain. Their service during the Cold War is just as important as those who went into combat or serve today outside of combat.”
Colonel Craig Wilcox spent 24 years (1989-2013) in the United States Air Force. His last post was as Commander of the 89th Airlift Support Group at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. There, he led his unit providing global command and control communications and aerial port services to the President of the United States and Air Force One.
Visit Sen. Wilcox’s legislative website (www.senatorwilcox.com) for an extensive list of veterans’ resources to connect to employment, education, service records and local, state and federal assistance.
HB2088 was introduced in the House by Rep. Daniel Swanson. The House passed the legislation March 20 by a vote of 114 to 0. The measure now heads to the Governor for consideration.