A Vietnam War veteran who was wounded in the line of duty recently got his request for a personalized license plate denied.
The DMV’s reason: he wanted to include the number 69 on the plate to denote the year he received a Purple Heart.
Arnold Breitenbach was a gunner on an armored personnel carrier when a Vietnamese rocket propelled grenade struck his armored vehicle. Though he was temporarily blinded, he survived with only hearing problems. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his actions.
Nearly half a century later, the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles denied his request to pay tribute to his service through the license plate.
If Breitenbach had his way, his license plate would read CIB – 69. This would indicate the Combat Infantryman’s Badge he was awarded as well as the year he received the Purple Heart, The Spectrum reports.
However, the DMV has a strict rule that prohibits the number 69 being used in license plates with very few exceptions.
"While your intended meaning behind the requested plate, CIB-69, is honorable, the Division of Motor Vehicles is required to follow Utah law when approving personalized plates," DMV Audit Manager Sherri Murray said in a letter in November 2013.
"Administrative Rule R873-22M-34 is clear regarding the use of '69' on personalized plates – '69' formats are prohibited unless used in a combination with the vehicle make, model, style, type, or commonly used or readily understood abbreviations of those terms," she continued.
This explanation was not enough for Breitenbach though.
"I figured in today's day and age, when President Clinton can have all that stuff going on in the Oval Office and he says that what he did wasn't really sex with that woman, [it's odd] to be turned down because this is so offensive to the citizens of Utah," Breitenbach told The Spectrum.
"They've got Viagra [ads] all over the place," he continued. "I can't imagine myself sitting on the sofa with my parents when I was a little kid having something like that on TV. In today's day and age, it seems like everything is out in the open."
The military veteran attempted to appeal his case to Gov. Gary Herbert as well as Rep. Don Ipson. However, his appeal was ultimately denied in January.
In the end, Breitenbach got a license with a Purple Heart logo, but without the infrantry designation.
Source: The Spectrum
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Kevin Jenkins/The Spectrum & Daily News