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November 9th, 2007
National Parks Honoring Our Troops and Veterans on this Veterans Day

Washington, D.C.Veterans and members of the U.S. armed forces will receive free admittance to any public recreation lands on Sunday, November 11, 2007 in honor of Veteran’s Day.

This will include lands managed by the Interior’s National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation and Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service.

The administrative fee waiver will apply annually.

“The Nation will gather this Veterans Day to remember our veterans who have served their nation to protect us and secure our most precious freedoms,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.  “It is only fitting to have our National Parks honor their service with actions that fulfill our commitment to our veterans, troops and their families.  Visits to our National parks young provide wonderful opportunities for families to connect with each other and develop a life-long commitment to support our national parks and protect our environment and cultural heritage.”

“We must take this opportunity to renew and reaffirm our commitment to the more than 24 million veterans in America.  They have tremendous needs and we must ensure they have the support they were promised.”

The 110th Congress has made veterans a priority.  To begin to fulfill that commitment, Congress is on course to enact a veterans’ spending bill that provides the largest increase in veterans’ health care in our nation’s history, which is supported by all of the major veterans’ service organizations.  This investment is on top of the $5.2 billion added earlier this year to strengthen health care for more than five million veterans.  These are critical steps to the many veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Traumatic Brain Injury, who are in need of better care to successfully rebuild their lives here at home. Congress also passed the Wounded Warriors Assistance Act to address the revelations of problems and gaps in care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and other soldiers’ and veterans’ health care facilities. 

“Let us pay tribute to our troops currently serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the globe as they have served our nation with honor and distinction and will become the veterans of tomorrow,” Grijalva stated. “Those who have given their lives in defense of our country deserve the gratitude, respect and support of the American people and their government.”

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