Local area legislators presented Deer Lake Mayor Michael Cooper with one of the state's first Bronze Star license plates made available through Act 103 of 2012.

At the Pottsville legislative office, Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill) and Representatives Neal Goodman (D-Schuylkill), Jerry Knowles (R-Schuylkill) and Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill) highlighted Mayor Cooper's activism to honor fellow veterans through these new license plates.

Sen. Argall, who sponsored the Senate version of the new law, Senate Bill 468 http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2011&sin... , stated his appreciation to finally see this idea come to fruition.

"Mayor Cooper first brought this issue to my attention and I'm pleased to see it finally signed into law," said Argall. "These new license plates are another way for our veterans to proudly display their achievements."

Rep. Goodman echoed Argall's sentiment, offering praise for local veterans.

"The Bronze Star Medal can only be awarded to a soldier who has actually been in a combat situation," said Goodman. "In the Marine Corps, we had a nickname for the Bronze Star Medal. We referred to it as the "Combat V." Because Marines are ground pounders, the Bronze Star is highly coveted, regarded, and well respected by all who earn it."

The law allows for military veterans who earned certain achievements, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Bronze Star for Valor, Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Navy Cross and Air Force Cross, to obtain a specialty license plate honoring their award.

Speaking for many veterans throughout the state, Mayor Cooper stated that this is fitting way to honor veterans with particular honors from their military service.

"I hope I speak on behalf of fellow veterans and myself, we're glad that there is option for us now to display our military accomplishments," said Cooper. "These new plates recognize some of the highest military awards for all branches of service, and it allows the veteran the choice whether they want to display these accomplishments or not. I would like to thank Sen. Argall and all the others for their support in getting this bill passed."

Rep. Knowles, who co-sponsored the House version of the bill that was signed into law by Governor Corbett, said that paying tribute to veterans is a priority.

"I want to commend the Mayor on proposing this fitting idea of honoring members of the military and congratulate him on being one of the first plates issued," said Knowles.

Rep. Tobash stated his appreciation for Mayor Cooper's service and how the legislature is taking steps to ensure all veterans should be recognized.

"I'm happy to see someone from our area being instrumental and one of the first people to be the beneficiary of this legislation," said Tobash. "Many of our service men and women have been honored by our military and it's great to see that more people will recognize their commitment and dedication to our country."

Veterans who are interested in obtaining these specialty plates can visit Senator Argall's website at www.SenatorArgall.com http://www.SenatorArgall.com or call Senator Argall's office at 1-877-DARGALL (327-4255).