- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 11, 2017

Military veterans can now visit any of Maryland’s 72 state parks for free after Gov. Larry Hogan eliminated fees in honor of Veterans Day.

“We can never thank our brave servicemen and women enough for what they have done and continue to do for our citizens, our state and our nation,” Mr. Hogan said Friday, November 10. “By providing veterans this complimentary benefit, which encourages them to access and enjoy our great outdoors, we hope to express our sincere appreciation, gratitude and respect for their service.”

Maryland’s state parks were already free for active duty service members displaying a military ID, but only for veterans on one day a year: Veterans Day, November 11.

The new admission policy applies to all U.S. military veterans, Marylanders and non-residents alike, Mr. Hogan’s office said in a statement.

More than 414,000 veterans reside in Maryland, including particularly in Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Montgomery counties, according to the governor’s office.

The facilities covered by the announcement include popular state parks such as: Assateague State Park in Worcester County and Sandy Point State Park in Ann Arundel County, among dozens of others.

“As a veteran of the U.S. Navy, I want to thank the governor for his bold action, leadership and support for our armed forces,” said the Maryland Natural Resources Secretary, whose office oversees the Maryland Park Service. “By encouraging more veterans to engage and experience our state lands and parks, both our citizens and visitors will benefit.”

On Thursday, Mr. Hogan, a first-term Republican, proposed expanding a tax credit for veterans. The University of Maryland separately announced plans Friday eliminating application fees for U.S. service members starting next fall.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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