The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of the Interior have announced that veterans and Gold Star Families have free access to all federal lands, wildlife refuges and national parks on Veterans Day and every day after.
Gold Star Families are the next of kin of a military member who died in a “qualifying situation” while serving in the armed forces. The situations could include war, an international terrorist attack or a military operation outside of the U.S.
Entrance fees collected by the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be waved at about 2,000 public locations over 400 million acres.
Veterans and Gold Star Families will be able to take part in activities like hiking, fishing, stargazing and climbing.
There is a long historical connection between public lands and the military.
Many sites were forts, battlefields or national cemeteries and memorials. Yellowstone National Park was under the protection of the 1st U.S. Calvary Division before the National Park Service was created.
To qualify for free entry, a veteran can show either their Department of Defense Identification Card, their Veteran Health Identification Card, a Veteran ID Card or a state-issued driver’s license or identification card that has the veteran designation listed.
Each year active-duty members of the military and their dependents can get a free annual pass.
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