By Marc Kovac
A new license plate honoring soldiers who were held as prisoners of war or are missing in action is now available for purchase in Ohio.
The POW/MIA plate costs $35, with $25 earmarked for a state fund that helps pay medical costs for military men and women injured during recent action in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The plates include the POW/MIA symbol along with the words “Never Forgotten.”
State Sen. John Eklund, R-Chardon, who introduced a bill to create the plate, said he was surprised to learn there was not a POW/MIA plate in Ohio before legislation was signed into law earlier this year.
“To think that, here in Ohio up until now, we have run the risk that servicemen and women’s sacrifices of any kind have gone unacknowledged ... is something that we had to fix, and I believe we have,” he said earlier this week.
The plate was designed with support from Rolling Thunder’s Ohio Chapter 1, which works to draw attention to military men and women who are missing in action or taken as prisoners of war.
“This is an ongoing issue,” said Jim Cozzarin, representing the Rolling Thunder group. “There are still prisoners of war and folks missing in action from past conflicts and current conflicts.
“And we want to make sure that the government knows that, knows that we know it and knows that we’re not going to stop talking about it until there’s a full accounting for all the folks who are missing or” POWs, he added.