National parks and forests were free for Veterans Day. And from now on, Veterans can visit free forever.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that time outside is paramount to our personal wellbeing and mental health. Luckily, the U.S. is home to some of the most breathtaking and awe-inspiring natural beauty there is. People travel from all over the world to take in the magnificence of iconic national parks like Yellowstone, Zion and Yosemite.
That’s why in honor of Veterans Day, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced that U.S. military veterans and Gold Star families would have free access to national parks, wildlife refuges and other Federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior. Not just on Veterans Day, but every day from this point forward.
“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,” said Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt in a press release.
This gives our beloved veterans lifetime free access to roughly 2,000 locations spanning over 400 million acres of diverse stunning natural landscapes such as the Grand Canyon, Acadia National Park, and Glacier National Park.
In order to get the free pass, veterans are asked to provide some form of identification showing they were in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the National Guard and the Reserves. Gold Star families are those who have lost an enlisted family member while serving in a war, a military operation outside of the U.S. or in an international terrorist attack. Find more information about passes and eligibility on the National Park Service website.
[Featured image: Vashishtha Jogi via Unsplash]