Santa Cruz County

California veterans pushing bill for special driver's licenses

Licenses would read "veteran" as a warning to law enforcement

SALINAS, Calif. - Todd A. Sylla may have left the United States Army in 1984, but he's not done serving his country.

He's now with American Legion Post 31 in Salinas making sure the flags will be ready to fly on Memorial Day.

"The camaraderie of the service members doesn't end the day you depart the service," Sylla said.

Sylla, like many other veterans in California are pushing for more legislation to benefit their brothers and sisters in the service.

Of the 10 bills veterans are backing this session, one permanently prints the word "veteran" on driver's licenses. It's primarily to alert law enforcement if a veteran has post-traumatic stress disorder when they pull them over.

It's called Assembly Bill 1637 and if it becomes law, California would become the 48th state to pass it.

"If veterans have injuries that they sustained during combat or during service, it would give police officers a little heads up that hey I'm dealing with a vet," Sylla said.

Not only that, but Sylla said it means a lot more than just signifying if a vet has PTSD.

"I think it's an excellent way for the veterans to show that they have served honorably," Sylla said. "It represents the most important people in this country (which) I feel is the United States veteran."

But until that bill passes, Sylla said will continue to get ready to honor veterans this coming Monday.

"To all my brother veterans, I salute you," he said. "God bless you and happy Memorial Day."

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