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September 19, 2013
By Elizabeth Jones

Who said summer was the only time for vacations?

The Armed Forces Press Services just announced that military lodging will remain available for service members and their families year-round. The open lodging can be accessed at numerous military installations, recreation areas and campgrounds around the nation and overseas in such places as Garmisch, Germany, and Seoul, South Korea. According to a news release, the lodging arrangements range from standard hotel rooms to posh recreation retreats. 

Lodging is provided by each branch of the military, including the Coast Guard. The reservation process varies from each military lodging program, but most typically offer rooms on a space-by-space basis. 

Prices might vary as well, but most military lodging programs offer generous discounts. The Navy's lodging program saves military families about 40 percent on hotel rooms, according to Susan Langless, who oversees the Navy Getaways program. The Navy offers both what Langless calls "big-city getaways," including Seattle and New York, as well as beach destinations along the Gulf Coast, such as Pensecola, Fla., and Gulfport, Miss. Overall, the Navy operates 49 vacation sites around the world.

Not to be outdone, the Army also boasts numerous beach resorts, such as Torii Beach in Okinawa, Japan, which Bob Vogt, director of Army Installation and Management Command's soldier and community recreation division, calls "one of the most beautiful beachfront locations anywhere in the world." For more of a traditional outdoorsy vacation, the Army also runs the Lake of the Ozarks Recreation Area in Missouri. 

Vogt suggests that booking stays with Army Lodging is the way to go if a military family is looking to save a few bucks, but not skimp on the quality of the hotel room. 

"Look at MWR recreational lodging opportunities when planning your vacation," Vogt said. "It's a potential cost saving to you and your family - and it allows MWR to continue to offer reduced rates on programs and services at locations across the U.S. and in overseas locations."