Poughkeepsie … The Dutchess County Parks Division and Veterans Services Division, in collaboration with Mental Health America (MHA) of Dutchess County’s Vet2Vet Program, will host a Veterans Camping Weekend at Wilcox Memorial Park from Thursday, June 3 through Sunday, June 6.
Veterans, active-duty military personnel and their families can take advantage of half-price camping rentals at the park’s tent and recreational vehicle (RV) sites. The weekend will culminate on Sunday, June 6, with a flag-changing ceremony at noon, followed by a free veterans recognition picnic at 12:45 p.m. Wilcox Memorial Park is located on Route 199 in Milan.
Adam Roche, Director of the County’s Division of Veterans Services, said, “Dutchess County is proud to give back to the brave men and women who have defended our nation, as well as their loved ones who have supported them during their service. We are honored to offer this opportunity and thank our veterans and active servicemembers, providing them the chance to enjoy one of the cornerstones of the Dutchess County Parks system, as well as the camaraderie of their fellow heroes. I urge my fellow veterans to utilize this opportunity and appreciate the natural beauty Dutchess County has to offer.”
RV sites are available for rental during the Veterans Camping Weekend; they are restricted to use by RVs and trailers only, as no tenting is permitted on these sites. These sites include electric and water hook-ups, as well as a dump station. The Veterans Camping Weekend rate for these sites is $15 per night for County residents, $20 per night for non-county residents.
Tent sites are available to rent during the event for $10 per night for County residents, $15 per night for non-residents. These sites can accommodate two small tents or one large tent, and no more than six people each; water or electricity hook-ups are not available.
Andrew O’Grady, CEO of MHA of Dutchess County, said, “Mental Health America of Dutchess County is thrilled to collaborate with the County’s Veterans Services and Parks divisions to show our appreciation for the courageous veterans and military members who have given so much to our country. Veterans Camping Weekend will bring these comrades together for a weekend of companionship – the hallmark of the Vet2Vet program, which has benefited so many veterans throughout Dutchess County.”
Advance reservations are required for this event and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Veterans and active military members can reserve sites by calling (845) 298-4600 and using code “Vets Weekend;” only credit card payments are accepted.
Sandy Washburn, County Parks Director, said, “We welcome Dutchess County residents and out-of-town guests to our parks and invite them to enjoy the many recreational opportunities that our County parks system offers. Veterans Camping Weekend is our county’s opportunity to thank those who have safeguarded our freedom while letting them explore Dutchess County’s one-of-a-kind scenic landscapes. We look forward to welcoming these heroes to Wilcox Memorial Park and providing them a weekend they’ll long remember.”
The County’s Division of Veterans Services ensures local veterans and their families receive their maximum eligible benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies at all levels of government. The Division offers a professional, personalized analysis for every veteran and their family for the greatest assurance they will receive all benefits they have earned from the veteran's honorable service to their country. More information is available on the Division of Veterans Services webpage.