Feel Good Friday: Senate Passes Bill to Give Millions More Veterans Free Lifetime Entry to National Parks

Source: Military.com

For today’s edition of “Feel Good Friday”, we would like to feature an article we came across that will surely bring a smile to your face.

The Senate approved a bill this past Monday to grant all veterans with service-connected disabilities free lifetime entry to America's 419 National Park sites.

The Wounded Veterans Recreation Act, which now goes to the House for consideration, amends the current eligibility standards for national park passes. The bill would grant the passes to millions more U.S. veterans.

Now, veterans must have a 100% permanent disability to receive free lifetime entry. If approved by the House, the bill would grant a National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass to any veteran with a disability rating through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

According to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.7 million veterans, or 25% of the total vets in the U.S., had a service-connected disability in 2019. About 2.09 million had a disability rating of 60% or higher, the report shows. It did not specify how many veterans were 100% disabled.

For years, veterans and experts have praised experiences in nature as therapy for those suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Recreation in our national parks and public lands can be a valuable healing tool for veterans living with physical and emotional wounds as a result of their service," said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana. "I'll continue fighting to make sure our legislation crosses the finish line in Congress."

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-California, introduced the bill in the House in November.

"National parks can connect our veterans with nature and increase their spiritual, mental and physical well-being," Ruiz said at the time.

If life has taught all of us many lessons, it’s the appreciation of things like the beauty of nature, fresh air and the importance of being able to enjoy a visit to our many National Parks with the freedom and accessibility our disabled veterans deserve. We hope you can experience this at some point in your lifetime and feel good on this Friday. Stay safe!

Read the original article at https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/06/24/senate-passes-bill-give-millions-more-veterans-free-lifetime-entry-national-parks.html

At Every Wheel Carry, we want to highlight stories that inspire and motivate us to unite and mobilize for our community. From our healthcare workers are fighting the good fight on the front lines, to essential workers keeping our infrastructure going. All while our men and women in uniform provide vital assistance. If you have a story you would like for us to consider sharing, send us an email at kevin@everywheelcarry.com and we’ll give you credit if we select yours!

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