New specialty license plate would help with Utah Honor Flight funding

Nov 20, 2022, 4:28 PM | Updated: 10:00 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — There’s not a day that goes by where Stephanie Harmon doesn’t think about U.S. Veterans.

“Our military is very special to me,” she said. “I grew up in a very military family.”

It’s part of why she now runs the Utah Honor Flight Program, which brings veterans to the memorials in Washington DC.

“Just being able to go and listen to these veterans’ stories and just being able to give them the thank you that they deserve is priceless,” said Harmon.

Their reactions are priceless.

(Greg Anderson/ KSL TV) (Greg Anderson/ KSL TV) (Greg Anderson/ KSL TV) (Greg Anderson/ KSL TV) (Ray Boone) (Ray Boone)

However, those Honor Flight trips are also expensive.

“We have a lot of donations from the public, obviously. We have amazing businesses that support us,” said Harmon. “We have got a lot of sponsors from Utah that have made every one of these trips possible.”

Harmon is hoping more funding will come soon from a new Utah Honor Flight specialty license plate. It was approved, but 500 people would have to sign up for the specialty plate before it can go into production.

Currently, about 100 people have put in an application for them.

There are more than more than 70 license plates on the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles website.

Many of them help support groups and charities with funding.

“Even if we just had those 500 applications, every year we would get back $25 every time those 500 were registered. That would give us another $12,500 every year, which right now, that would take about 12 vets every year,” she said.

Utah’s Honor Flight takes about 300 veterans every year to see the Vietnam Wall, World War II Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and other sites.

Even still, there are about 600 veterans on the waiting list.

“We need the funding in order to take those veterans as well,” said Harmon.

Harmon has been on 19 Honor Flights so far.

Every time they come back to Salt Lake City to cheers and hugs, she knows all the efforts to give these veterans new memories is all worth it.

“It’s really special,” she said. “They earned it, and they deserve it.”

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New specialty license plate would help with Utah Honor Flight funding