Colorado Citizens Support Troops With Vehicle Plate

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 12, 2007 - After two years of pushing for new state legislation, a Colorado troop-support group has been told to hit the road -- literally.

With the support of 33 state congress members, American Military Family today announced its successful efforts in getting a license plate dedicated to the troops for residents of the Centennial State.

According to the new law, 93 percent of the proceeds from the $25 vehicle tag will go to directly support Colorado military members and their families. This will include active-duty members, National Guard and reserve soldiers as well as veterans and non-profit organizations working to support the military.

With the help of their 12 corporate sponsorships, the group hopes to take care of overhead costs so 100 percent of the tag proceeds eventually can go back to Colorado troops, Debbie Quackenbush, the organization's founder, said. She said this is part of their "Support the Troops 100%" program.

"We are just a bunch of average people supporting our military," Quackenbush said. "We believe we are going to do great things for our troops through this program."

Although the plate is set for release July 1, the organization has already collected more than 150 advance orders for the tag emblazoned with a yellow ribbon and American flag.

"I think people in the state and the nation want to tangibly support our troops," she said. "This is a great way to do it. We are so proud that years of work have come to fruition."

American Military Family is a member of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations with members of the military and their families at home and abroad. All monies donated above the cost of the license plate will be distributed to servicemembers throughout the nation.

By working closely with the state's Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, the organization will review requests for monetary assistance on a quarterly basis for distribution throughout the state for those who qualify. Quackenbush said this includes family emergencies for military families in addition to other troop-support groups.

Quakenbush, whose brother is a Vietnam veteran, said she believes no one who has sacrificed for America's freedom should go unrecognized.

"This is going to be a huge message going down the highways to our troops and their families," she said.

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