Veterans Day

NPS Giving Veterans, Gold Star Families Free Lifetime Access to National Parks

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The National Park Service is marking Veterans Day by giving veterans and Gold Star families lifetime free access to all the country’s national parks.

Angela McConnell of the Northern Virginia Veterans Association said this will improve her quality of life.

She served 22 years in the military with the Army, Army Reserves and Air Force.

"The ideas around, you know, no soldier left behind in the Army and that kind of sticks with you in everyday life."

When she's not busy running her nonprofit to help Northern Virginia veterans, she's most likely taking in our country's national parks.

“The training in the Army has instilled a love of being out in nature,” she said. “It's also therapeutic in some respects."

McConnell plans to take advantage of the free pass to national parks.

"I will definitely be using it,” she said. “I frequent Shenandoah, Blue Ridge; I just was at Assateague a couple of months ago."

For Veterans to get their free lifetime pass, they'll need to show one of these forms of ID:

  • Department of Defense ID card,
  • Veteran Health ID card,
  • Veteran ID card,
  • Or a driver's license or state ID with vet designation.

Gold Star families can download a voucher from the Park Service website.

"I frequent these often, so this is just going to be an added benefit to my recreation and my quality of life," McConnell said.

McConnell said a good way to thank veterans this Veterans Day is to reach out to a local nonprofit that helps veterans.

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