By Buddy Blouin

Being a warfighter means family time can be hard to come by. Even if you’re still living the single life, downtime of any kind for some R&R isn’t always easy to find. However, the military community does have a great benefit providing service members, Veterans, and families an opportunity to enjoy a vacation surrounded by guests with similar experiences. Armed Forces Recreation Centers (AFRCs) are a great place for anyone in need of a break to have an adventure, sit back and relax, and do everything else you need to recharge your batteries.

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What Are Armed Forces Recreation Centers?

Armed Forces Recreation Centers resort hotels, owned by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and operated by the Army's Installation Management Command (IMCOM), offer affordable vacations to service members, retirees, and authorized individuals worldwide.

With a commitment to world-class service, AFRC resorts ensure guests enjoy memorable vacations.

Exclusive to service members, their families, and authorized patrons, AFRC benefits extend to personnel from all branches of the Total Defense Force, including retirees and Veterans.

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Locations and Amenities

Since 1945, US Armed Forces Recreation Centers has expanded to four resorts that reach stateside, Europe, and Asia, with the newest addition featuring lodging at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Shades of Green Resort

Experience family-friendly fun at Shades of Green, the Armed Forces Recreation Center in Florida at Walt Disney World Resort.

Situated amidst PGA golf courses, it's an ideal base for theme park adventures. After an exhilarating day, unwind in the spacious accommodations provided.

Military families benefit from exclusive discounts and promotions at Walt Disney World Resort.

Take a breather from the parks and relax by the two pools or savor delicious dining options available onsite.

Additionally, discounted tickets to attractions are available for military families.

Hale Koa Hotel

Experience Paradise at Hale Koa, an oceanfront haven for military members and families on Waikiki Beach.

This Armed Forces Recreation Center in Hawaii is surrounded by palm trees and features comfortable rooms that offer the best value in Waikiki.

Serving generations of military guests, Hale Koa's intimate setting and prime location are rewards for your service.

Dive into relaxation at the resort's newly designed pool complex, capturing the essence of Hawaii.

With stunning views and authentic dining options, Hale Koa Resort ensures an unforgettable Island vacation!

Edelweiss Lodge and Resort

Did you know there are Armed Forces Recreation Centers in Europe? Discover a retreat at Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in the Bavarian Alps.

With stunning mountain views and rich cultural experiences in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, staying at the Armed Forces Recreation Center in Germany is the ultimate getaway.

The resort caters to military personnel and families, offering comfortable accommodations, including pet-friendly options. Explore Germany's highest peak, Zugspitze, steps away from the resort.

You can host special events at the resort’s conference center or embark on Alpine Adventures for Bavarian immersion.

Relax with spa treatments and dine at casual restaurants after a day of adventure. Whether skiing or enjoying wellness amenities, Edelweiss caters to all.

Dragon Hill Lodge

Armed Forces Recreation Centers in Asia are available, thanks to Seoul’s Dragon Hill Lodge, your gateway to the city's excitement. From museums to hiking trails, shopping to cafes, the AFRC offers it all.

Return refreshed after exploring Seoul's dynamic culture and cuisine.

Dragon Hill Lodge features modern rooms that provide a cozy retreat in downtown Seoul, complemented by award-winning American-style dining.

Whether stationed in Korea or visiting family, seize the opportunity to explore Seoul's rich history and contemporary charm. With personalized tours and a central location, your Seoul adventure awaits.

Can Veterans Use Armed Forces Recreation Centers (AFRCs)?

Yes, Veterans can utilize Armed Forces Recreation Centers; however, there are restrictions in place. Here’s how you qualify as a Vet to access AFRCs:

  • If you are a Veteran certified by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) with 100% disability from service and have an honorable discharge.
  • Anyone who has earned a Medal of Honor.
  • Retired Veterans, including those from the Reserves and National Guard.
  • Some guests outside of these parameters may be allowed; however, they must have an eligible sponsor accompany them during the stay.

Additionally, Shades of Green provides multiple programs, the Salute To Our Veterans and the Survivor’s Family Program, which provides access to the community.

Salute To Our Veterans occurs in January and September each year providing all honorably discharged Veterans a chance to stay at the resort.

The Survivor’s Family Program provides families who have lost a loved one to service, regardless of the reason, access to the resort. This includes losing a loved one to illness or suicide.

In addition to Vets, Armed Forces Recreation Centers are open to current and retired civilian employees of the DoD and Coast Guard.

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