RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Women veterans in Virginia may soon have a new recognition for their service after the Virginia Department of Veterans Services announced a campaign to honor women veterans with a special license plate.
Beverly VanTull, an army veteran who works with the Department of Veterans Services, is leading this effort.
“It’s all about being seen and heard,” she said. “Like all of our veterans, we’ve paid the price.”
According to VanTull, women who serve in the military make up almost 20% of the armed forces.
“I think it’s just going to be an awesome opportunity to show our appreciation for some of our women veterans who frankly have felt invisible and not seen and not acknowledged for their service,” VanTull said.
To push this campaign forward, she said she needs at least 450 pre-applications for the special license plates, with $10 or $20 deposits, by Jan. 11, 2023. So far, a few hundred people have already signed up for one.
If the goal is reached, VanTull said delegates Kathleen Murphy and Jackie Glass — Navy veterans themselves — will bring it before the General Assembly for consideration.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will start making the plates with the General Assembly’s authorization.
Those who applied for a license plate can vote on the final design.
VanTull says this isn’t her first license plate campaign. She tried three times before to make special plates for women veterans, but never received enough pre-applications.
“The first couple of times we stumbled around a bit and then the third time the DMV got involved, but we didn’t have enough applicants,” VanTull said. “Now that we’ve opened it up from just women veterans to their families and other people who support women vets, I think we’ll reach our goal.”
This time, she’s confident enough people will want to support them.
“I hope we’re able to finally get it together. This will be such an encouraging thing for our women veterans,” VanTull added.
Application forms for the Women Veterans License Plate can be found online here. Completed physical copy applications along with a check — in the amount of $10 for a basic plate or $20 for a personalized plate — made out to the Virginia Department of Veterans Services can be mailed to the address below:
Ms. Beverly VanTull
Virginia Department of Veterans Services
101 North 14th Street, 17th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
For more information, visit the DVS website.