Helping veterans, their communities is the goal of new VFW specialty plates

Kathy Cline / ADOT Communications

Helping more veterans and their communities: That's the goal of two new new specialty plates for Veterans of Foreign Wars and Veterans of Foreign Wars Arizona Auxiliary. These plates were among 15 that new specialty plates that became available for purchase in December.

Veteran of Foreign Wars license plate

Proceeds from sales of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) plate, according to past state commander Tom Judd, will pay for more service officers, who help veterans get benefits they've earned.

The idea for a VFW-specific plate, Judd said, first came in 2019 after he bought a different specialty plate for veterans. During a VFW budget meeting not long after, someone floated the idea of a VFW-specific plate.

"We thought, 'Hey, we sure could use $17 of every plate sale,'" Judd said. "We have 23,000 members. If just half of them purchased a VFW plate, that's thousands more dollars available for service officers throughout Arizona."

"There are 600,000 veterans in Arizona," he added, "and we have three service officers for the state. We'd like to have at least one in Flagstaff, Kingman, Yuma and Tucson."Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Arizona license plate

Around the same time, the first steps toward creating a VFW  Auxuliary Arizona specialty plate were occurring. Melody Judd, VFW Auxiliary Department of Arizona Program Coordinator and past president, said that she's grateful this plate is now available. Proceeds from the specialty plate will help to provide many services for veterans and their families.

"For example, the VFW Auxiliary provides high-school seniors with scholarships; we also put on homecomings and sendoffs for military members and their families," Judd said. "Proceeds from plate sales could increase the amounts we can budget for those. The VFW Auxiliary also does community outreach with other groups. Proceeds from plate sales will also increase the amount we can give to those efforts."

To view and order any specialty plate, visit azmvdnow.gov. Most specialty plates cost $25 upon initial application, of which $17 goes to a designated charitable organization. Personalization can be added for an additional $25 per year.