WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Sept. 30, 2008) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced it will waive day-use and camping fees for service members and DoD civilians who are on mid- or post-deployment leave from duty in a hostile fire zone supporting the Global War on Terror.

The Corps began waiving recreation fees for service members on leave, or "rest and recuperation" from duty in Iraq in 2003. The current announcement expands the waiver to cover DoD civilians and active-duty servicemembers on leave or returning from all deployments in support of the Global War on Terror, to include Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and other GWOT deployments.

"Our intent is to recognize the selfless service of these men and women to our nation and the world," said Steve Stockton, the Corps Director of Civil Works. "The 2,476 Corps-operated recreation sites nationwide provide excellent opportunities to find renewal, solace, and inspiration, and to reconnect with families and friends."

Service members and DoD civilians on leave will be required to show identification and leave forms upon arrival to the recreation sites to obtain the waiver, officials said. They said the waiver will also apply to all immediate family members accompanying them on their visit.

The waiver will be applied to day use and camping fees. Fees will be waived on a walk-up and space available basis, officials said, as well as for reservations made through the National Recreation Reservation Service call center. However, they said fees will not be waived for on-line reservations made through Recreation.gov.

In addition, state, local and other managing entities of recreation areas located on Corps lands are encouraged, but not required, to comply with this waiver of fees in the areas they manage, officials from the Corps of Engineers said.

The Army Corps of Engineers is the nation's largest federal provider of outdoor recreation, officials said. The command managing 423 projects (mostly lakes) nationwide and hosts more than 372 million visitors per year.

Additional information about the Corps recreation program is available at www.CorpsLakes.us.