Senate Passes Bill to Give All Disabled Veterans Free Lifetime Entry to National Parks


The Senate recently approved the Wounded Veterans Recreation Act to grant all service-connected disabled veterans free lifetime entry to all U.S. national parks. 

This bill will now move to the House of Representatives. At this point the House will review, look at considerations, propose amendments and vote. In the current standings, the Wounded Veterans Recreation Act will allow free access to the 417 national parks to millions of U.S. veterans.

Currently veterans must hold 100 percent permanent disability from the VA to receive this free lifetime entry to the national parks. 

Recreating in outdoor lands has become a well known avenue for therapy, both veterans and experts agree. 

“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-MT). “I’ll continue fighting to make sure our legislation crosses the finish line in Congress.”

Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) 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.

About Morgan Mason

Hot on the heels of pointing dogs, Morgan cut his teeth on life and hunting in the milo stubble and CRP fields in northeastern Kansas. He spent his adolescence and teen years hunting, fishing, and working on the family's quarter-section cattle farm. At