BY JON CRONIN
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) is asking congress to grant veterans free admission to National Parks as part of their service-related disabilities.
Ulrich, who has been the chairman of the City Council’s Veterans Committee for the last four years, introduced Resolution 0116-2018 at the council’s meeting on Wednesday.
The resolution asks congress to pass and President Donald Trump to sign S.355—The Wounded Veterans Recreation Act of 2017, which would “amend the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act to provide for a lifetime National Recreational Pass for any veteran with a service-connected disability,” according to the congressional description.
Ulrich’s resolution points to the sacrifice of 900,000 soldiers who were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the approximately 327,000 more who have suffered from traumatic brain injuries during service between 2000 and 2015, according to a 2015 Congressional Research Service.
The effort is already receiving national attention.
“Councilman Ulrich and the New York City Council deserve praise for recognizing the important service of our veterans through this resolution,” said Lauren Cosgrove, the Northwest program manager for the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). “Our veterans and our national parks reflect the best of who and what we are as a nation. Ensuring our disabled veterans are able to access these lands free of charge is an important step toward recognizing and thanking these brave women and men who have sacrificed so much in service to our country.”
Ulrich said that such programs would go toward honoring veterans who have put their lives in danger for the United States.
“Although it would be impossible to fully repay the debt we owe our veterans for their service, our government should make every effort to commemorate the sacrifices of our brave men and women in uniform,” Ulrich said.
Over the past few years, Ulrich has successfully campaigned to create a new Department of Veterans Service agency in the city before it was only a branch of the mayor’s office and create an agency office in Queens.