Having fought to serve and protect our country, veterans overwhelming understand the importance of America’s public lands. In fact, a November 2013 poll found that 75 percent of veterans in the western United States strongly favor the federal government protecting public lands by designating them as national parks, wilderness or monuments. This is why the Vet Voice Foundation strongly opposes limiting any effort to undermine the Antiquities Act,” Mark Starr, Iraq War Veteran 

Tens of thousands of American veterans visit public lands every year. These are the lands on which service members are able to hunt, fish, camp and most importantly heal as they transition from combat. Polls show that 75 percent of post-9/11 veterans support protection of federal public lands by designating them as national parks, monuments, or wilderness (Source: Vet Voice Foundation)

Service members have a unique understanding of the importance of protected public lands as a place for men and women serving in our armed forces to recreate after returning from strenuous overseas missions to recuperate and reconnect with family and friends. Research by the University of Michigan/Sierra Club has also identified the links between outdoor experience and veterans’ mental health, and service members are increasingly using their voices to call for more – not less – access to public lands.

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“Many soldiers coming off combat deployments seek the outdoors to recover from the trauma of war and reconnect with family and friends. This is why polls show that an overwhelming majority of veterans favor protection of public lands and clean water by designating new national monuments, wilderness areas, and national parks. Congress should be seeking a balanced approach to protecting our heritage for future generations, not introducing legislation that would gut protections and give away our public lands to special interests,” Garret Reppenhagen, Vet Voice Foundation

Members of the VFW Post. 5888 in California express support to (fmr) Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for a national monument designation at Fort Ord (Jan. 2012)

Members of the VFW Post. 5888 in California express support to (fmr) Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for a national monument designation at Fort Ord (Jan. 2012)