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National parks may soon become free for wounded veterans to visit thanks to a proposal from California and New England lawmakers.
The Wounded Veterans Recreation Act is set to become law after passing both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. According to the Associated Press, Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Democratic California Rep. Raul Ruiz proposed the law.
The Associated Press reports the bill is designed to change the 2004 Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act to make veterans with a service-connected disability eligible for a free lifetime pass to U.S. national parks.
The new law “will ensure that disabled veterans can continue to access our country’s national treasures for outdoor recreation, which can help heal both the visible and invisible wounds of war,” Senator Collins said in a statement.
“We owe our veterans every resource they need to build healthy and happy lives when they come home. The Wounded Veterans Recreation Act is a bipartisan, common-sense bill that will help make good on that effort by amending the law to expand access to our federal lands and parks, free of charge, to veterans living with service-related disabilities,” said Senator Shaheen. “This bill would ensure that our veterans forever have free access to visit these beautiful spaces, which can play an important role in their rehabilitation. I’m pleased the House has passed this legislation and urge the President to sign it into law as soon as possible.”