Tester to Zinke – Lifetime Pass for Veterans

It was nice to read a press release from U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) that said he was asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to support the creation of a lifetime national park pass allowing America’s veterans to enter all of the nation’s National Park Service sites for free.

Tester has introduced a bipartisan bill with Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) to allow veterans to purchase a lifetime pass good for all federal sites for a discounted, one-time fee.

I think this is a good idea. The bill, S- 521, makes the cost $80 for a lifetime pass. That seems like a Washington, D.C. amount. I was thinking $25 would be perfect – I mean if you want to make it a good thing for veterans.

Now to get picky – it’s not really free as Tester says in his press release “America’s veterans to enter all of the nation’s National Park Service sites for free.”

The cost is $80 according to the bill.

Maybe Tester can get fellow U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) to co-sponsor the bill. Maybe U.S. Representative Greg Gianforte will introduce a companion bill in the U.S. House.

I know it’s hard for some in Washington to remember this, but veterans have already written a check:

A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount up to and including their life. – José N. Harris

Finally, since this is November and Veterans Day is coming up, maybe while Tester is at it he can talk to the airport directors in Montana (like the one in Great Falls) who receive tons of federal funds and tell them to give free short-term parking to active duty military, their dependents, and veterans.