Davis Co-Sponsors VIP Act to Honor Active-Duty Military, Veterans, and Gold Star Families
The Veterans in Parks (VIP) Act would give active-duty military, veterans, and Gold Star families free access to national parks and public federal lands
U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) has joined a bipartisan group of 131 members of the U.S. House in introducing H.R. 4300, the Veterans in Parks (VIP) Act. This legislation gives veterans and Gold Star families free lifetime access to national parks and public federal lands and gives active-duty servicemembers and their family free annual passes. The VIP Act was introduced by Reps. Mariannette Miller Meeks (R-IA) and Ruben Gallago (D-AZ).
“Our servicemen and women, veterans, and Gold Star families give so much to our great Nation,” said Rep. Davis. “We will never be able to fully repay them for their service, but we can honor their service and sacrifice through the VIP Act, which gives these individuals greater access to our national parks and federal public lands. We should always do more to honor those who serve our Nation, and giving them free access to our beautiful parks and lands is on small way we can thank them.”
The America the Beautiful Pass provides access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks, national forests, and wildlife refuges. This includes some of the country's most iconic natural treasures, ranging from Acadia National Park to the Redwood National Forest.
The VIP Act allows all veterans, active duty servicemembers, and Gold Star Families to visit all national parks and public lands free of charge. In 2020, the America the Beautiful annual pass became free for veterans and Gold Star Families; however, this change for veterans has never been put into law and could be undone in future years.
The VIP Act protects these for veterans passes by codifying them and making them lifetime passes instead of annual passes. Finally, the VIP Act also creates annual passes for current servicemembers and their dependents.
You can read the legislative text here. You can find a list of original co-sponsors and supporting organizations here.