ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — A Vietnam War veteran in Utah says he's surprised over the reason for the denial of his request for a personalized license plate commemorating the year he was wounded and awarded a Purple Heart.
Arnold Breitenbach of St. George sought a license plate with the designation CIB-69, representing the Combat Infantryman's Badge he received and the year he was awarded the Purple Heart.
The Utah Division of Motor Vehicles denied his request, citing state regulations prohibiting the use of the number 69 because of its sexual connotations, The Spectrum newspaper of St. George reported (http://bit.ly/1GWrVXn ).
"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," Division of Motor Vehicles audit manager Sherri Murray wrote him in a letter.
Breitenbach, who served as a gunner on an Army armored personnel carrier, said he doesn't think everyone has such a dirty mind that they would be offended.
"They've got Viagra (ads) all over the place. I can't imagine myself sitting on the sofa with my parents when I was a little kid having something like that on TV," he said. "In today's day and age, it seems like everything is out in the open."
Breitenbach wrote Gov. Gary Herbert asking for help with his cause, but he was referred to the established appeals process. His appeal was denied in January.
Breitenbach decided against a further appeal, saying it wasn't worth the time and expense. He ended up getting a Purple Heart logo on the license plate without the CIB-69 designation.
He was wounded when rocket-propelled grenades struck his armored personnel carrier while he was in the gun turret. He was temporarily blinded, but his Purple Heart came as a result of damage to his hearing, he said.
Information from: The Spectrum, http://www.thespectrum.com