FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2005
Contact: Doug Dunbar
Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Highlights
Department's Services for Maine Veterans
AUGUSTA , MAINE – In recognition of Veterans Day, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap highlighted numerous services available to Maine veterans and their families through the Department of the Secretary of State. He encouraged Mainers to take advantage of these opportunities to recognize, honor and assist veterans.
Secretary of State Dunlap explained that veterans are able to obtain a variety of recognition plates through the Department’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Some are available at no cost to veterans. Currently authorized plate categories include: Veteran, Disabled Veteran, Prisoner of War and Pearl Harbor Survivor. The newest plate is Maine’s Disability Special Veteran plate which permits the registered vehicle to park in disability spaces.
Additionally, decals depicting certain military awards and all branches of the Armed Services are available for use with certain veterans' license plates. These decals provide a more distinctive look and allow veterans to display a special symbol of their service to our country. An honorably discharged veteran may obtain up to three sets of veterans' plates and decals. There is no fee for some of the veterans' plate categories. The fee for decals is $2.00 per set.
Details about obtaining plates and decals are available by contacting the Secretary of State’s office in Augusta. The telephone number is (207) 626-8400. Information can also be obtained online by visiting www.maine.gov/sos.
Secretary Dunlap highlighted a number of other programs and services available through the Department of the Secretary of State to honor veterans. They include an online tribute book titled Maine Remembers Those Who Served, and Maine’s ‘Vote in Honor of a Veteran’ initiative.
Maine Remembers Those Who Served is an online book paying tribute to veterans. Originally created in 2000 by Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky, the book covers over 250 years and chronicles the contributions of servicemen and women in all branches of the military. It also celebrates their selfless dedication and commitment to military service, and honors their legacy of defending democracy. Maine Remembers is posted on the Secretary of State’s website (www.maine.gov/sos). It includes a unique feature allowing individuals to submit additional tributes.
Vote in Honor of a Veteran was originally established as a “Promote the Vote” initiative for the 2000 General Election. Through this initiative, individuals may obtain a button to wear before and during Election Day to indicate that they are casting a ballot in recognition of a particular veteran. The buttons are personalized with the name of the veteran and provided free of charge. With a general election year approaching, Dunlap encourages Maine residents to order their buttons early. During past election years, thousands of buttons have been ordered. Information and buttons are available by calling the Secretary of State’s office at (207) 626-8406.
In addition, Dunlap noted that the Maine State Archives, which is part of the Department of the Secretary of State, also offers a variety of services that may be helpful to veterans. Whether they are interested in military history, family genealogy, the Civilian Conservation Corps, or a broad range of other topics, the Maine State Archives is an invaluable resource. Currently, the Archives maintains approximately 95 million pages of official state records considered to be permanently valuable. The earliest dates from 1639. The Archives can be reached by calling (207) 287-5788. Its website is www.maine.gov/sos/arc.
“The Department of the Secretary of State offers numerous services to Maine’s veterans, as well as to their relatives and friends. Whether it’s through Maine’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the Maine State Archives, or our Elections Division, we provide many avenues for veterans to be recognized and honored,” Dunlap commented.