UPDATED: I think all veterans deserve free access to all parks supported by taxpayer funds. I think they deserve more. Up until the summer of 1991, the military promised free medical and dental care for life, including to spouses and children. The Commissary and Exchanges were not to make profits. In the summer of 1991, it was announced that only active duty personnel were to receive dental care from the military because, despite recruiting promises, the written contracts promised only active duty personnel would receive dental care. Then, medical care for life became medical care until veterans were eligible for Medicare after which premiums would be required to pay for Tricare for Life that becomes gap insurance. Along the way, the Exchanges were contracted to be managed by a non-military, profit-making company. Name brand clothing was soon replaced by a house label that, in my opinion, is of inferior quality. It is my impression that prices also were affected. The Commissaries, based on price comparisons with local stores that I conducted, only represented a savings for things like diapers, cereals, and canned goods once surcharges and bagger tips are added to the total. I know many civilians in America do not know people who have served and, therefore, do not really understand the cost of a military life. Spouses rarely are able to have careers or manage to complete graduate schools because of moves every 2-3 years if they wish to live with their spouses. Military salaries rarely equal those in the civilian sector for similar positions. Military members, even in peacetime, spend months each year away from their families on training exercises - now there’s the added strain of deployments. The physical strain is profound, and shoulder, back and knee injuries are prevalent, often becoming chronic. Added to all of that is significant stress if a leader is disappointing. Those who have been to war have been exposed to sights, experiences, and sounds the reality of which they could not have imagined before they lived them - everything from repulsive, to horrifying, to disgusting, to heartbreaking - and which no movie or photo or TV scene can convey in all the horrible and hideous reality. The VA is overwhelmed and the civil service offers lower wages with the retirement benefit realignment doing away with guaranteed pensions no longer compensating for lower wages compared to civilian health care jobs. Civil service medical professionals often work more than 40 hour weeks without the overtime pay that civilian workers in similar positions don’t receive. That’s why our active duty personnel and veterans deserve free access to taxpayer-funded recreation of all kinds. They, their spouses, and their minor children deserve free dental and medical care for life including mental health care from a provider of their choice reimbursable by Tricare even if the provider is not on Tricare rolls. As a society we ask and asked these human beings to risk their health, their bodies, their lives, their marriages, and their families at a higher level than those of us in civilian life. I think they deserve more during and after military service than we currently give. This is how I see it.