Veterans tend to build strong ties with their service branches, whether it be the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard.

Recently the U.S. Marine Corps license plate became a part of the official Arizona License Plate program.

For every U.S. Marine Corps plate sold in Arizona, $17 of the $25 fee goes directly to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides college, university, or trade school scholarships to the children of Marines, Navy corpsmen, Navy chaplains or Religious Program specialists attached to a Marine unit.

Every time Elisabeth Wisthoff looks at the license plate of her husband’s Toyota Tacoma, it reminds her of where they met, the life they’ve shared, and the children they’ve raised.

Dana Wisthoff’s truck sports a personalized Arizona U.S. Marine Corps license plate that reads, “E5 MSG.”

A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, “E5,” reflects Dana Wistoff’s rank of Sergeant when he first met Elisabeth. “MSG” refers to his role as part of the Marine Security Guard detachment assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal, where Elisabeth’s father served as a senior foreign-service officer.

“I was in college when I first met Dana … and the rest is history,” she said with a laugh. “That license plate reflects our story.

Dana and Elisabeth Wisthoff are supportive of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.  Both their daughter, Victoria, and son, Alexander, received Foundation scholarships while attending the University of Arizona undergraduate programs. They both graduated with honors. Currently, Victoria is studying for the bar exam with her sights set on becoming a prosecutor while Alexander works in corporate banking.

They are two of roughly 40,000 students nationwide who have received Foundation scholarships since 1962. Since the program’s inception in 2015, almost 23,000 plates have been bought, generating hundreds of scholarships for Arizona students.

Elisabeth Wisthoff was so impressed with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and its impact on her family that she joined the Arizona committee that hosts an annual fundraising gala in Phoenix.

“I appreciate the Foundation because it’s simply about patriotism … its motto, ‘Honoring Marines by Educating Their Children’ is one that everyone can support without reservation,” she said.

To order an Arizona U.S. Marine Corps license plate, visit www.servicearizona.com and click on the personalized/specialized plates link.

Photo caption:  Dana and Elisabeth Wistoff, taken at the Lisbon, Portugal, Marine Corps Ball.

Photo credit:  Courtesy of the Wistoff family.


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