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New America the Beautiful Military Pass Honors Service Men and Women

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Date: May 16, 2012
Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393

As part of a national 'Joining Forces' initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, and adopted by Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Grand Teton National Park will now offer annual entrance passes that grant free access to our nation's service members and their families.

 This initiative was announced on May 15th during a ceremony at Colonial National Historical Park in Yorktown, Virginia with Secretary Salazar, Director of the National Park Service Jonathan B. Jarvis and Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy. These annual passes will become available on May 19th, Armed Forces Day, to active duty service men and women and their dependents. More than 2,000 national parks, wildlife refuges, national forests, and other public lands across the country will provide the new passes as a way to honor the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces: Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, and activated National Guard and Reserves.

 "Through the years, military members, especially those far from home in times of conflict, have found inspiration in America's patriotic icons and majestic landscapes, places like the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon that are cared for by the National Park Service and symbolize the nation that their sacrifices protect," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "This new pass is a way to thank military members and their families for their service and their sacrifices."

 "It's gratifying to be able to offer this token of appreciation for the work that our service men and women do every day to keep Americans safe and preserve civil rights and freedoms for citizens around world," said Mary Gibson Scott, superintendent of Grand Teton National Park and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. "May hundreds of military families take advantage of this special pass and visit our nation's most treasured sites. These are places that can certainly heal physical and emotional wounds and inspire hope."

Military members and their dependents can pick up a pass at any national park, wildlife refuge or other federal site that charges an entrance fee. Members must show a current, valid military identification card to obtain their pass. Dependents of active duty personnel are also eligible for this pass.

 Although the new pass is not available to veterans and retirees, many of these individuals are eligible for other discounted passes such as the Senior Pass, granting lifetime access to U.S. citizens over 62 for $10, or the Access Pass granting free lifetime entry for permanently disabled U.S. citizens. For information about the America the Beautiful Military Pass, visit http://store.usgs.gov/pass/index.html.

-NPS-
www.nps.gov/grte

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