The SCDad (my dad that is) was born during the great depression and grew up on a farm. Needless to say he's of the mindset that doesn't spend money on "frivolous" stuff... like personalized license plates.
A couple years ago we were struggling with what do we get Dad for Christmas? What do you get a senior citizen that has everything he needs. He served 20+ years in the US Army and is very proud of his active duty + Reserve service and we are too.
The SandCastle Crew proposed to purchase and annually fund a personal plate in a military theme so his money is not going to frivolous stuff. His state does not specifically honor veterans but they do have a vaguely pro-military plate. We put our heads together and came up with an appropriate plate recognizing his service. It starts with O5 for Lt. Colonel and a few more letters to details his specifics. ~6 months later he proudly installed it on his car.
Also, he's a widower. Talking to other widower's thet tell me worst part is the empty feeling in the evenings when there is no one to talk to. They tell me it's very important to find activities to fill these hours. To that end he's an amateur musician and works with several local community bands.
Fast forward to about 10 days ago. He pulled up to a 4 way stop about 9pm coming home from band practice. Checking both ways, he entered the intersection.... and caught a glimpse out of the corner of his eye and hit the brakes. He was promptly hit from R to L in the front end removing the entire front end of his car by someone speeding ~15 over the limit and never slowed for the stop.
The crash was loud and drew a 50+ crowd from the apartments on the corner. Fortunately for Dad, one was an off duty, out of jurisdiction police officer. He noticed the custom plate noting military service and took Dad under his wing. Step one, escort him to his truck to sit down. Step two, find the front plate and stash in the trunk. Step three explain to local PD when you are ready to interview Dad, he's right over here and YOU WILL GO TO HIM! (And they did). Step four, drive Dad home (about 3 blocks).
Thank you to the off duty PD office for taking good care of SCDad. And amusing to hear the plate is what triggered him to treat a vet with kid gloves.
SCDad gets his car back today (Friday)