Veterans and military families can enjoy these free perks at our favorite national landmarks

grand canyon

Day hikers ascending the Bright Angel Trail in Grand Canyon National Park. (Michael Quinn/National Park Service)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Now that summer is quickly approaching and another school year is wrapping up, families soon will be traveling to explore some of the country’s remarkable sites. Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) encourages veterans and families to visit some of our favorite military landmarks.

Whether it’s an afternoon at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida; Fort Sumter at Charleston, South Carolina; or the battlegrounds at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; there are unique opportunities for warriors to connect with their communities while showing appreciation to military history.

According to the National Park Service, there are more than 70 parks and landmarks dedicated to the Civil War alone. Added with locations from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and western expansion into the Indian Territory, there are more than 200 others to pick from.

With nearly 1.3 million visitors annually, the USS Arizona Memorial, along with the two adjacent museums that comprise the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, are the most popular in the country.

uss arizona pearl harbor

A sailor enters the USS Arizona Memorial during the National Park Service sunset tour. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker/U.S. Navy)

In a WWP survey of the injured warriors it serves, 29.6 percent of survey respondents expressed physical activity helps them cope with stress and emotional concerns. Activities like touring military landmarks highlight the importance of managing mental health through physical activity.

Blue Star Parks allows veterans and their families to visit national parks, landmarks, and monuments for no charge. America the Beautiful park passes are available at most national sites with either a Common Access Card or a military identification card (Form 1173).

The National Park Service and each state list military parks and landmarks on their official websites. The University of Texas Libraries has compiled a list of downloadable maps of each location.

Whether it’s for an afternoon or part of a day trip, visiting these landmarks can connect veterans and their families with significant moments in military history.

To check out these military landmarks, click here »

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