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Free lifetime state park passes available to disabled veterans

Published May 18. 2012 10:00AM   Updated May 18. 2012 10:59AM

Lifetime state park passes are available free of charge to veterans with a service connected disability, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection announced today.  The passes are available at DEEP Headquarters in Hartford and at various DEEP park and field offices.

To obtain a pass, veterans must provide a photocopy of their current Connecticut drivers license or other legal proof of residency, and a copy of their Veterans Administration Card or VA benefits letter indicating the service-connected disability.

“These free, lifetime passes are an excellent way for us to show our appreciation to Connecticut’s residents and their families who have served our country,” DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Frechette said in a news release.

The passes can be used to waive parking fees at all of Connecticut’s state parks where a fee is charged.  The card is issued to an individual veteran and can only be used if it is presented by the pass holder.  It is non transferable to another person. To enter an area with a parking fee, the holder of the pass will present the pass to the gate attendant.  Access will be permitted for the vehicle and all passengers.  The pass holder does not have to be the driver.  The Disabled Veteran Pass is not valid for camping or special events having separate admission charges and may not be used for commercial purposes.

When visiting Gillette Castle, Dinosaur and Fort Trumbull state parks or to fish at the Quinebaug Valley Hatchery, free admittance is provided only for the Disabled Veteran Pass holder.  All other visitors will be required to pay the appropriate fee.

 “These passes offer a wonderful opportunity for our disabled veterans to experience the richness and healing qualities of nature and the beauty or our great State,” said Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Dr. Linda S. Schwartz.  “This program is a great gift for the men and women who sacrificed so much for our Country.”

Among the locations where Disabled Veterans Passes are: DEEP Eastern District Headquarters, 209 Hebron Road, Marlborough, (860) 295-9523; Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park, Park Avenue, Groton, (860) 445-1729; Fort Trumbull State Park, 90 Walbach St., New London; (860) 444-7591; Harkness Memorial State Park, 275 Great Neck Road, Waterford, (860) 443-5725; Hammonassett Beach State Park, 1288 Boston Post Road, Madison; (203) 245-2785.

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