East TN WWII veteran finally gets designated license after oversight

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — After a two-year fight, an East Tennessee World War II veteran who had been turned down when he applied for a “veteran” designated driver’s license due to an oversight finally received one.

It’s been more than a year of calls, documents exchange and frustration for Dave Stevenson, who served in the Navy in 1945 at age 18. At the Roane County courthouse on Thursday, Stevenson, 93, got his special “veteran” designated driver’s license, thanks to State Senator Ken Yager who sponsored a bill making Word War II veterans eligible.

Stevenson had volunteered for military service and served in the Navy until July 1946. But the honorable discharge he received 71 years ago was not recognized by the state to receive the special veteran’s license until Sen. Yager had the law changed.

“It was unintended, it was just a slap in the face of those veterans,” Sen. Yager said Thursday. “When we found out that little glitch in the law wouldn’t let Dave or his comrades get the designation, we fixed that. It’s a message to all of our veterans that we appreciate and value their service.”

Stevenson was more than pleased.

“I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed… surprised and overwhelmed,” Stevenson said. “It was something that I felt that had been overlooked and ought to be corrected.”

The special veterans designation on driver’s licenses is provided to all veterans who are honorably discharged. With it, they’re also eligible for discounts.

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