PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A local Navy veteran is working to bring U.S. Navy specialty plates to Virginia.
Roger Hirsh, a retired captain, spent 30 years in the Navy as a pharmacist officer.
Hirsh says he undertook the task after feeling frustrated seeing his other military friends with specialized plates for their branches.
“The Army has one. The Marine Corp has one. The Coast Guard has one. The Navy does not,which is crazy for the state of Virginia,” Hirsh said.
Hirsh says he was surprised the DMV does not offer one.
“Virginia’s a Navy state. Hampton Roads has the largest Navy base in the world and we probably have the largest Navy population, in the state of Virginia, in the United States,” he said.
Hirsh started the journey last year and has worked hard to create the plates ever since.
According to the DMV, the General Assembly must pass a bill allowing the specialty plates.
In order to do that, 450 prepaid orders are needed before the bill is proposed.
Right now, Hirsh says he has a little over 100 orders.
“It’s been tough, yes. I’ve been doing a lot of things trying to get the word out,” he said.
Hirsh believes many in our area will hop on board once they know about the plates.
The plates will revenue sharing plates, which means parts of the funds will go towards an organization or charity.
Hirsh says it’s an annual $25 fee and $15 of that will go towards the Navy Marine Relief Corp Society.
The organization helps provide financial assistance such as scholarships to Navy families in need.
“To me, it’s a feel good about the Navy but what you’re doing for those Navy/Marine Corp families,” he said
The DMV says the money will start to go to the organization after 1,000 plates are sold.
In 2015, revenue sharing plates generated $3.6 million to organizations affiliated with the plates.
Since 2002, more than $50 million.
Hirsh says he’s now working to get enough orders for the 2019 General Assembly, but needs them by the first week of December.
“It seems like a lot of time but it goes by quickly,” he said.
For more information, you can email Hirsh at email@example.com or visit the Facebook page.