Tucson’s legacy preserved after permanently waiving national park fees for vets, families Coronavirus

TUCSON (KVOA) – Back in December, President Joe Biden signed the Alexander Lofgren Veterans in Parks Act into law, permanently waiving national park fees for veterans and Goldstar families.

This act came after Alexander Lofgren, an Army veteran from Tucson, died last year while hiking in Death Valley with his girlfriend Emily Henkel.

Henkel says it felt like a load was lifted from her shoulders because she knew it was being done on his behalf. She said it is an amazing achievement by everyone involved that veterans and Goldstar families can enjoy our national parks for free for life.

She says this is the best thing that can happen to commemorate him.

“Everyone benefits from nature. We experience it first-hand. It became the foundation of our entire relationship. I saw how much it healed him. I saw how much it helped us,” said Henkel. “It will be like that for everyone. All veterans, all service members, all members of the Goldstar family will now be able to experience exactly what we were able to experience together.”

Henkel says she will continue Lofgren’s work on his behalf.

He was a Wounded Warrior Fellow and a former Congressman’s Advisor Raul Grijalva.

This law is part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022.

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