Veterans, Gold Star families given free access to National Parks, federal property

| November 10, 2020

The access is indefinite starting tomorrow, 11 November. Nice gesture and I hope it encourages families to visit some of our national treasures.

By Stephanie Pagones

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) will be offering war veterans and the relatives of service members who died in the line of duty free entry to national parks and other federally owned properties beginning Wednesday, the agency announced in a recent blog post.

“This is a commonsense way to recognize those who have worn the uniform, and we’re glad the Trump administration made this a priority in support of its commitment to better honoring and serving our nation’s heroes,” Veteran Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie told Fox News on Tuesday.

Effective on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, the VA is granting Gold Star Families and veterans free entrance and amenity fees for the estimated 2,000 public, federally owned locations, which encompass more than 400 million acres of lands, ranging from wildlife refuges to national parks and includes all other property run by the Department of the Interior, the department recently announced.

“With the utmost respect and gratitude, we are granting Veterans and Gold Star Families free access to the iconic and treasured lands they fought to protect starting this Veterans Day and every single day thereafter,” Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt said in a statement included in the blog post.

Nicely done. Read the rest of the article here: Fox News

Category: Administrative, Bravo Zulu, Veterans in the news

Comments (24)

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  1. OWB says:

    Sounds good.

    Wonder what they will ask for to prove eligibility.

  2. OWB says:

    Interestingly enough, if you go to the source, the answer is there. Duh.

    “For purposes of this program, a Veteran is identified as an individual who has served in the United States Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves, and is able to present one of the following forms of identification:

    Department of Defense Identification Card
    Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)
    Veteran ID Card
    Veterans designation on a state-issued U.S. driver’s license or identification card”

    https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/80547/veterans-gold-star-families-get-free-entrance-national-parks-refuges-public-lands/

  3. Devtun says:

    OT: Don’t forget It’s the US Marine Corps 245th birthday. AKA Crayon Eaters/Jarheads/Leathernecks/Devil Dogs/Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children, etc.

  4. Thunderstixx says:

    Other than my 3 beautiful daughters, joining the US Army was by far the best thing I have done with my life.
    It was truly and honor and a privilege to serve America.
    With all her faults and mistakes of history, it’s still by far the best country on the planet !!!!!

  5. 5JC says:

    Not just “war vets” but all vets. It should help stem the inevitable onslaught of SV.

  6. Commissar says:

    Target is offering a one time 10% discount on an entire shopping basket.

    You have to verify your veteran status with Target.com to get the QR code.

    Some items are excluded. But overall it is a pretty solid discount.

  7. Sapper3307 says:

    Its always handy to have a free rest rest stop on a bike trip.

  8. ninja says:

    Thank You, AW1Ed, for sharing this information with us.

    The ninja family applauds what you wrote:

    “Nice gesture and I hope it encourages families to visit some of our national treasures.”

    Our parks ARE our National Treasures.

    As Thunderstixx shared above:

    “With all her faults and mistakes of history, it’s still by far the best country on the planet !!!!!”

    AMEN!

    😉😎

  9. 5th/77th FA says:

    Welp, all warm and fuzzy and I hope that the majority of ELIGIBLE people take advantage of it. I have visited a large number of National Parks and have never minded paying the small (in comparison) fee. Would usually drop a few more pieces of 8 in the donation box AND buy stuff at the Gift Shop. Maybe, by having to show some proof, we’ll keep the phonies down to a minimum.

    Enjoy it while you can, when the new Harris Administration takes over, all the parks, ‘specially battlefields will be closed, or Vets will have to pay, and the FSA will get in…well…Free.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARINES! Semper Fi you Devil Dogs!

    I guess a certain someone was too busy getting ready for the Marine Dining Out with The Soviet to make a post.

  10. Only Army Mom says:

    Fun fact – this is a huge deal in the Gold Star community. See, “Gold Star” is a Congressionally designated and defined term. But, in the Gold Star community, holders of the Next of Kin pin are commonly referred to as “Gold Star” as well. There have been attempts to gain clarification on whether NoK recipients are considered “Gold Stars” under this program, or if it is only those Congressionally defined, aka, families of KIA’s.

    Personally, I understand and respect the distinction, particularly in the eyes of veterans, and most particularly in the eyes of combat veterans…BUT…I also recognize a mother’s heart is no less broken for burying a child who died not in combat but in a training accident, suicide, illness, whatever the cause related to or as a consequence of their decision to put on this Nation’s uniform. Sadly, there are some on each side of this argument that are getting pretty nasty.

  11. Berliner says:

    As far as National Parks, when I retired in 96 and got my 30% disability paperwork from the VA I was advised to show it at the entrance to the nearest National Park (Mt Rainier) and they gave me a “Golden Access Passport” lifetime admission permit card.

    The VA rep also applied to Washington State, thru the parks and recreation folks, to send me a Disabled Veterans Lifetime Pass for the state parks.

    Glad they’re doing this for all veterans and Gold Star families.

  12. Commissar says:

    There are quite a few national chains offering veterans discounts/benefits tomorrow.

    One stood out as being particularly relevant given the current environment…

    Starbucks. Free cup of coffee for veterans tomorrow.

    I bring it up because part of the leftist agenda is to make you drink Starbucks every day from now until forever. No matter how it tastes.

    I thought you all might like to try it before you are mandated to buy it.

    🙂☕️

    • Skyjumper says:

      They can keep their expensive swill.

      Most mornings I grind some dark roasted beans, pour a hot cup (black) and head out to the deck where I sit down, light up a smoke and enjoy the coffee while watching the sun rising, looking across the field & woods watching for the critters (big & small) scurrying around and the early morning silence. It truly doesn’t get better than that.