‘It’s the least we can do’: Granger introduces bill to allow free national park entrance to veterans

‘It’s the least we can do’: Granger introduces bill to allow free national park entrance to veterans_60f581945a95d.jpeg

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) introduced a bill on July 1 that, if passed, would allow Gold Star families free access to National Parks.

Granger is leading the Support the Veterans in Parks, or VIP Act, alongside Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) and Bruce Westerman (R-AR). The legislation would authorize current service members, veterans and Gold Star Families free entrance to 2,000-plus federal recreation land. This includes national parks, wildlife refuges and national forests.

“Allowing current and past service members and Gold Star Families free access to our most iconic and treasured lands is the least we can do to honor the sacrifice they have made for our country. That is why I joined @RepMMM to introduce the Veterans In Parks Act,” Granger said in a July 2 tweet.

The VIP Act directs “the Secretary of the Interior to make free National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes available to members of the Armed Forces, and for other purposes.”

If approved, veterans can visit over 2,000 federal recreation areas, including Texas’s own Big Bend National Park and Palo Alto Battlefield, free of charge.

“As a 24-year Army veteran, I understand the sacrifices made by our military and their loved ones,” Miller-Meeks said. “We owe so much to our amazing service members, veterans and their families; the Veterans In Parks Act is the least we can do. Our legislation would give service members, veterans and our Gold Star families free passes to all of our beautiful national parks and federal lands for life. I am proud to work with such a great bipartisan group of members on this commonsense issue to support those who sacrifice so much for our freedoms.”

Last year, Granger successfully urged the Trump administration to grant Gold Star families and military veterans free access to national parks, refuges and other public lands as of Veterans Day 2020.

To view the list of organizations that support the VIP Act, click here.

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