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Free national park passes for military families

The National Park Service will begin issuing an annual pass for free entrance to all 397 national parks for active duty military members and their dependents. Get the passes at Prince William Forest Park and Manassas National Battlefield Park starting Saturday, May 19, Armed Forces Day. To idea behind the pass is to show appreciation for those who serve in the U.S. military.

Prince William Forest Park Superintendent Vidal Martinez was quoted as saying. “We all owe a debt to those who sacrifice so much to protect our country. We are proud to recognize these brave men and women and hope that a visit to this or any national park will offer an opportunity to unwind, relax, rejuvenate, and just have fun with their families.”

Prince William Forest Park is located adjacent to the United States Marine Corps Base Quantico off Interstate 95 Exit 150B or may be accessed off Joplin Road, VA 619. The park visitor center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. NPS staff will begin issuing the Military Pass to all active duty members of the military and their dependents at 9 a.m. this Saturday.They must show a current, valid militaryidentification card to obtain their pass. More information is available at

Refunds will not be given to members of the military who purchased Prince William Forest Park or Interagency Annual passes prior to May 19. For more information, call the park visitor center at 703-221-7181, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit Facebook and Twitter (#PW Forest Park). This military version of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass also permits free entrance to sites managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Forest Service, the NPS news release said.

National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis noted that national parks and the military have strong ties “going back to the establishment of Yellowstone as the world’s first national park in 1872.” The U.S. Cavalry watched over America’s national parks and were the first park rangers until the National Park Service was created in 1916. During World War II, many parks were used for the training and care of military personnel. Today, dozens of national parks commemorate military battles and achievements.

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