U.S. SENATE – They’re fighting for freedom and for our treasured ground, and a new public lands initiative, announced today, will allow members of the military to access America’s national parks at no charge.

The announcement this morning by Dr. Jill Biden (wife of Vice President Joe Biden) and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar kicks off Armed Forces Week.

This stemmed from a bill Montana Sen. Jon Tester introduced last year – Honoring Service Through National Park Access Act – which would have given veterans free passes and active duty military members a discount.

“National parks are America’s treasures, and the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect them deserve a lifetime of access to them,” said Tester, a member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the subcommittee that oversees funding of the National Parks system.

“Sen. Tester is very excited to see the Interior Department building off his idea,” said Tester’s press secretary Andrea Helling.