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monkey44

Cape Cod, MA and Central Fla

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Posted: 03/30/22 01:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

zb39 wrote:

I am a 6 year veteran of the Air Force. I was a captain and flew jets for them. I can't find any military campground I can use. My experience is you have to be retired military or have a huge disability to use them.



Military campgrounds were originally commissioned and built as recreation areas for active duty or retired only, and included specific disabled veterans. Mostly for vacations and short-term area visits. Except in high tourist areas, the campgrounds were generally available for those reasons.

A few years ago, certain bases and campgrounds began allowing some other categories - DOD, etc. - It appears now, the campgrounds have morphed into housing for some and money trees for the auxilliary services. Quite a few get over booked and have become reservation only, and many are full most of the time.

It's become much more difficult for those military members to use the facilities that were created specifically for AD, Retired and DAV recreation.


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Posted: 03/30/22 02:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

zb39 wrote:

I am a 6 year veteran of the Air Force. I was a captain and flew jets for them. I can't find any military campground I can use. My experience is you have to be retired military or have a huge disability to use them.


That or active military. I only got in because I ran into Agent Orange in Vietnam, and it's associated problems.


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ItsyRV

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Posted: 03/30/22 06:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

zb39 wrote:

My experience is you have to be retired military or have a huge disability to use them.

The only thing that changed with the passage of the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018 was opening MWR facilities to disabled "Service Connected" and/or Purple Heart veterans. However, long before that new access group, the length of stay issue was always a hinderance to space availability. So long as a facility allows stays up to 6 months, there will always be limited availability at those locations. Currently, retired military makes up the bulk of long term users who have maximum stays that results in reduced availability.


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monkey44

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Posted: 03/30/22 07:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can remember when the longest stay was two weeks, with a two week extension if site remained available. Then, it began the creep, two months, then six months as the Fill-It and Fees took over. It was once an earned benefit for our service - it has become more a money first, benefit second for the MWR component as the Fed funding shrank and MWR is now basically self-funding.

charlestonsouthern

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Posted: 03/31/22 03:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Now, why would an active duty military family want to stay in a campground on base for six months? I think it's because there is a shortage of base housing for that family when they checked into the campground. For example, bases in the state of California have personnel with their campers in military campgrounds, no base housing available for them at that time, and military families can't afford the rent in California outside of the base gates. Therefore, recreational campgrounds become temporary base housing, but no one on base wants to talk about that.

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Posted: 03/31/22 07:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There has also been a overall reduction in MWR RV campsites throughout the US.

As some facilities get handed over from military to civilian agency control, the MWR facility is also converted to a federal or private campground open to all. We are also seeing some facilities reduce RV sites by installing cottages. Those cottages can be used by everyone regardless of needing an RV. Plus they can often fit more cottages in the same space as a single RV site.

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Posted: 03/31/22 08:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

charlestonsouthern wrote:

Now, why would an active duty military family want to stay in a campground on base for six months?

They make money by getting a housing allowance and then only having to pay the monthly rate at the campground. That could amount to $1000+/mo in their pocket tax free. A friend who is a USAF doc is doing it. She bought a trailer, about a 32 ft. She said there's limited housing on her base so she gets housing allowance. Apartments around the base are either not fit to live in or well above her allowance pay. She bought the trailer and pockets over $1000/mo tax free. The installation cmdr allows it on her base. It's against the MWR policy but installation cmdrs have a lot of freedom what they can do.


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monkey44

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Posted: 03/31/22 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It seems our socio-economic methodology today has become 'milk the cash-cow' for as much money as possible. And those that earned certain benefits find those benefits shrinking or disappearing in order to feed that methodology.

Earned military benefits - medical and recreation in particular - have been a target of that methodology for years.

garmp

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Posted: 03/31/22 04:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To my understanding they are for active, retired or 100% disabled. As in any other network things can change from one place to another, but that is generally the rule. Check with the FamCamp you are interested in.This might help link


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ItsyRV

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Posted: 03/31/22 08:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

garmp wrote:

To my understanding they are for active, retired or 100% disabled.

Not entirely correct. It's ANY veteran with a VHIC that shows "Purple Heart" or "Service Connected". So a veteran with a rated service connected disability (need not be 100% anymore) are eligible to use MWR facilities.

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