- Published: Thursday, 22 August 2019 04:48
Active duty, retired military, and 100% DAV were the primary users that were authorized to utilize MWR facilities (includes campgrounds). However, this all changes soon. The Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018 became law in August 2018 and will take effect on January 1st, 2020. This bill will now allow the following veterans use of commissary and exchange stores, and MWR facilities (includes campgrounds):
- Veterans Awarded the Purple Heart
- Veterans Who Are Medal of Honor Recipients (already authorized)
- Veterans Who Are Former Prisoners of War
- Veterans With Service-Connected Disabilities
- Caregivers of Veterans
There will be a "User Fee" imposed on the above users, but not much else is known. The few military campgrounds I've spoken with about this authorization are not aware of it. Currently, it's unknown how these veterans are going to be identified, screened, and granted access to the various military installations. Detailed information on how this authorization is going to be implemented is supposed to be released after October 1st.
If you're interested, this new authorization is part of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. Specifically, the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018 can be found in H.R. 5515—7 TITLE VI—COMPENSATION AND OTHER PERSONNEL BENEFITS, Subtitle C—Other Matters SEC. 621. EXTENSION OF CERTAIN MORALE, WELFARE, AND RECREATION PRIVILEGES TO CERTAIN VETERANS AND THEIR CAREGIVERS.