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By Staff | Oct 3, 2018

To The Editor,

This following message I write to the West Virginia Legislature:

As the 50th anniversary of my departure to Vietnam has come and gone, I decided to purchase a Purple Heart license plate for my new truck. I travelled to the DMV in Moundsville with my DD214 in hand, only to be informed I had to pay a 50 cent insurance enforcement fee and a $1 litter fee for the remaining years of a 10-year cycle, designated by the State of West Virginia. In my case, that would be $10.50. What a disgrace to this state to require any fees from a combat wounded veteran. It’s not the money; it’s the ignorance and incompetence of the state legislature of West Virginia.

After being drafted in February of 1968, I spent one year and one day in Vietnam and never say a word about it. The Purple Heart is a medal that no one wants to receive, and approximately 60,000 were awarded posthumously. Why? I still don’t know our purpose or goal.

I was proud to serve this great country. My father served; my uncle was a German POW, and my grandfather was a WWI veteran. However, as long as there must be a fee for serving your country, all leadership of the State of West Virginia should be embarrassed, and you can keep your license plate.


Richard Erlewine

US 52858-037


July 18, 1968-July 18, 1969