May is Military Appreciation Month, and a good time to remind ecoXplorer followers that current and retired US Military and Gold Star Families now are entitled to FREE admission year-round to national parks and historic sites and other federal lands.
It’s a new lifetime perk, authorized in 2022 by the Biden Administration.
New lifetime passes are available for veterans and Gold Star families that allow access to 2,000 federal recreation sites, including national parks, wildlife refuges, and forests.
Active US Military also get FREE admission to more than 2,000 museums, zoos and other family-friendly attractions May-September through the Blue Star Museums program.
There is also FREE admission for the general public during National Park Week and other dates during the year.
“The free Military Pass is a way to thank current US military members and their dependents, Gold Star Families, and US military veterans for their support of our country and to encourage them to explore recreational opportunities on their public lands and waters,” the National Park Service said in a press release.
“We have a sacred obligation to America’s veterans. This new lifetime pass is a small demonstration of our nation’s gratitude and support for those who have selflessly served in the U.S. Armed Forces,” Secretary Deb Haaland said, according to a news release from the NPS.
The pass covers entrance fees to the parks and standard amenity fees, the NPS said, but it does not cover “expanded amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, transportation, special recreation permits, reservation fees or special tours.”
Passes can be obtained on the United States Geological Survey website. Before getting a pass, users have to select how they are eligible for one.
“This is a small token of appreciation for veterans who have bravely dedicated their lives to defending our freedom,” National Park Service Director Chuck Sams — a veteran himself — said when announcing the perk in 2022.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter currently serves as President of the International Motor Press Assn. (IMPA) and is a former Board Member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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