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Gold Star Families and Military Veterans Now Get Free Entrance to Any National Park This Veteran’s Day—and Beyond


Starting next week, American veterans and immediate family members of fallen military personnel will be able to visit the nation’s most iconic wonders – its national parks, wildlife refuges and other federal lands administered by the Department of the Interior – at any time. and for free.

Photo from the National Park Service

Beginning on Veterans Day, November 11, Gold Star families and anyone who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves, can go to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or Yosemite. without cost.

US parks include not only natural wonders, but also historical ones, such as the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln in Kentucky, the Appomattox courthouse from the civil war in Virginia, the home of Frederick Douglass in DC, and forts and battlefields in dozens of states.

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2,000 public places spread over more than 400 million acres of public lands, hosting activities to suit any lifestyle, from serene to high-octane, including hiking, fishing, rowing, biking, hunting, stargazing, and climbing , will now be a little more accessible to those who have served the country.

“Our veterans and Gold Star families have made incredible sacrifices to defend our freedoms and our homeland. Making sure they can enjoy all the wonders of the country they have served is a little way of saying thank you. ” said US Senator Chuck Grassley in a statement from the Department of the Interior.

Todd Wendy

Scientists are well aware of the positive impacts of being in nature: Even a 20 minute walk in a natural place significantly reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

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“Exposure to outdoor recreation can provide a wide range of mental health benefits, and given our nation’s current veteran suicide crisis, this is a welcome step forward using a whole-of-government approach to improve Veterans’ Lives, “explained Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan by Jeremy Butler, CEO of America.

As such, this new initiative by the Department of the Interior could make a positive difference in the lives of many thousands of people in every state.

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