Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vets to receive no-fee use of Rec sites Nov. 10-12

   I like that organizations-local and federal-recognize veterans and their service. I always feel a bit shy about saying I'm a veteran even though I served nearly four years in the Navy.
   The reason I think has to do with missing duty during times our country was in conflict. Discharged in September of 1963, I just missed the ramp up for the Viet Nam War.
   However, the ship I was on, the U.S.S. Topeka (CLG-8) saw duty in the Viet Nam theater. In fact she played a role in what was to become known as the Bay of Tonkin incident.
   According to personnel that were aboard, Topeka was steaming south in the Bay when a message was received to turn around, head north and begin shore bombardment to protect and give covering fire to U.S. Marines ashore.
   This was accomplished according to those who told me the story. Topeka was one of the first guided missile cruisers having been converted for a WWII light cruiser.
   I was interested about finding out it they had fired any of the surface-to-air missiles they carried to bring down any enemy aircraft. Apparently they didn't have an opportunity.
   In recognition of veterans and their service, this veterans day weekend; Nov. 10-12, the U.S. Forest Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites.
   “This is our way of saying thanks to the brave men and women – past and present – who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe at home,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.
   “We encourage veterans, their families and all visitors to take time out over the holiday weekend to enjoy the benefits that nature provides at forests and grasslands throughout the country.”
   The Forest Service operates approximately 17,000 developed recreation sites nationwide.  Of those, approximately 6,000 require recreation fees, which are used to provide visitor services, repairs and replacements, and facilities maintenance.
   Way to go U.S. Forest Service.

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