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It's hard to be more open about getting wounded in combat.

The "IEDED" specialty plate leaves little doubt as to how the Wisconsin driver of this yellow Nissan Xterra earned a Purple Heart, denoted by the decal on the left. Combat-wounded veterans can obtain Purple Heart license plates from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation by presenting military discharge papers that verify they received the medal.

The photo was taken by Abe Sauer on Highway 94 during a recent trip to the state.

During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, IEDs (improvised explosive devices) have wounded and killed staggering numbers of U.S. soldiers. In 2010, roadside bombs in Afghanistan killed 268 soldiers and wounded 3,360 more -- increases of 60 percent and 178 percent, respectively, from the previous year.

Image credit: Abe Sauer

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