Natalie Mihalek and Pam Iovino

State Rep. Natalie Mihalek, left, and state Sen. Pam Iovino

Two veterans of the U.S. Navy serving in the Pennsylvania Legislature – Sen. Pam Iovino, D-Mt. Lebanon, and Rep. Natalie Mihalek, R-Upper St. Clair – introduced pieces of legislation to recognize the Navy and its decorated veterans.

Both of their districts include Peters Township.

The legislation was introduced in the Senate and House to honor the recipients of the prestigious Navy and Marine Corps Medal by creating their own special license plate. The medal is the highest noncombat decoration awarded for heroism by the Navy and Marine Corps.

Under the proposal, any recipient of the Navy and Marine Corps Medal can apply for their special license plate through the state Department of Transportation, accompanied by a fee of $20.

The second item was a resolution concurrently introduced in the Senate and House formally recognizing Oct. 13 as the 244th birthday of the Navy. On that date in 1775, the Continental Congress established a naval force, hoping the small fleet would be able to offset the uncontested exercise of British sea power.

“Over the course of its 244-year history, the U.S. Navy has been a force for good all around the world. Navy and Marine Corps Medal recipients have been at the forefront of that mission,” Iovino said. “As a 23-year veteran, the Navy has played a key role in my life by instilling the core values of honor, courage and commitment. I am proud to work across the aisle and across the Capitol building with my fellow Navy colleague to give the Navy and some of its most highly decorated the recognition they deserve.”

Mihalek shared her enthusiasm.

“Our Commonwealth has been blessed with dedicated service members and veterans in all branches of the military, and they deserve our recognition and thanks for their sacrifices,” she said. “As a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy, I consider it an honor and privilege to help ensure the outstanding men and women who earned the Navy and Marine Corps Medal have the same opportunity. As we mark the 244th birthday of the Navy, we know it is the people who stepped up to serve who make this celebration possible.”

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