A note from the VA about vets and public lands

Some good news for vandwelling vets and public lands enthusiasts:

> > Veterans and Gold Star Families will be granted free access to national parks, wildlife refuges and other Federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior starting on Veterans Day this year _and every day onward_. -- [source](https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/80547/veterans-gold-star-families-get-free-entrance-national-parks-refuges-public-lands/) (_emphasis_ added) > >

The article says the ID required for vet access is:

Department of Defense Identification Card
Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)
Veteran ID Card (VIC)
Veterans designation on a state-issued U.S. driver’s license or identification card

It was not clear to me what the VIC and VHIC cards are or what they look like.  The VA ID card page would be helpful if it had pics

As far as I can tell from this pdf, this is a VHIC, intended to be a VA-facing ID related to official benefits.  It’s the type issued to me by VA El Paso:

This appears to be the VIC, a public-facing ID related to demonstrating one’s vet status to the non-VA world:

…and appears to be equivalent to having VETERAN status stamped on your official state ID. BTW, the vet stamp on state ID costs nothing and might even reduce fees (as on the Tx CHL which has a discount for veterans).

but wait a bit

Although access begins on Veteran’s Day (Nov 11), I encourage people to avoid national parks and similar spots on that day and other “free days”. Those days tend to be overcrowded and chaotic:

The Department also offers free entrance days for everyone throughout the year to mark days of celebration and commemoration including the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., National Public Lands Day, Veterans Day, and the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act. > >