Swanson’s “Cold War” Veteran License Plate measure singed into law.

Legislation backed by 74th District Representative Dan Swanson was signed into law on Friday, August 9th. The legislation creates license plates honoring veterans of the Cold War. Swanson, who is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army and Illinois Army National Guard, in the spring introduced legislation that would designate a veteran license plate for “Cold War” veterans. Now any veteran that served in the armed forces between August 15th, 1945 and January 1st, 1992 can apply for the plate or decal referencing the Cold War. There are currently decals available for many theaters of action, including Cuba, Atomic Veterans, Grenada, Persian Gulf, Laos, Panama, every major war and military operation and several others. The decals show the branch of service and can be attached to the universal veterans’ plate. “Many of our Cold War veterans do not receive the recognition they deserve despite their service to the United States during a critical time in our history,” Swanson said. On the House floor in the spring, Swanson said, “It is estimated 400,000 veterans were exposed to toxins during the Cold War, more than 3,500 died of gunshot wounds or explosive devices, 364 American pilots were shot down, 269 civilians missing, and many were interrogated by the Soviets, never to be heard from again.” He added that “Now we can honor their service and say thank you with this proper recognition of their work in serving our Nation.” The new plates have no additional fee attached and will be designed by the Illinois Secretary of State.