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Ivey gives free access for veterans to parks

MONTGOMERY – Gov. Kay Ivey has announced the Parks for Patriots Act that will give Alabama military veterans free access to Alabama State Parks.

Along with free admission, veterans can use park facilities and day use areas that charge an entrance fee, including boat ramps and the Gulf State Park pier, according to “Citizen of East Alabama.” (citizenofeastalabama.com)

“More than 50,000 Alabamians serve in the military or work as employees of the Department of Defense, and it is appropriate and right that we honor their heroism and service,” Sen. Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper) said. “Veterans from Alabama have fought honorably in numerous wars, defending this nation from Nazi fascists and now, radical Islamic terrorists.”

Ivey stated her pride for Alabama for “(standing) up together and show our support of veterans. This new policy is just another mark in the long history of Alabama supporting our military men and women.”

“More than 1 in 10 Alabamians are veterans, and there’s still so much that we can do to give them the respect they deserve. I hope this small token will show each distinguished member of our military family how appreciative we are of their service to our country,” Ivey said.

The “Parks for Patriots” policy for Alabama State Parks will remain in effect until legislators pass the law and make it permanent, Richard Blanton said. Blanton serves as Historian for American Legion, Post 229 in Madison. 

In addition, the Alabama legislature held a joint session of the House and Senate to honor Gen. Gus F. Perna, commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command in Huntsville and Alabama’s only four-star general.

Alabama residents who are not military veterans can show their appreciation to military personnel by donating to a state park. These donations, combined with funding from sponsors, will allow the parks to honor the men and women who have served the United States.

Residents can donate online at alapark.com; at any gate with an employee at a state park; and most point-of-sale cash registers in park offices, restaurants, camp stores and golf shops.

For more information, visit alapark.com.

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