Shutdown won't stop vets' Honor Flight, memorial visits - FOX 13 News

Shutdown won't stop vets' Honor Flight, memorial visits

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A group of 80 military veterans from the Bay area are taking their "Honor Flight" to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday and have been told they'll be allowed to tour the World War II Memorial, several veterans said Monday.

The government shutdown forced the closure of national parks and monuments. This created a controversy last week when veterans on an Honor Flight from Mississippi faced barricades at the World War II Memorial and had to force their way through.

"Politics is politics, you know?" said Sun City Center Army Veteran Joe Holl. "I think they'd have a hard time with us World War II guys, stopping us from going in and seeing it."

"It was very, very frustrating," added Dale Richards, an Army veteran from Wesley Chapel. "A lot of guys lost their lives. A lot of buddies lost their lives, and I think it's certainly couldn't be anything better than to be able go up and see a memorial."

The group has been told they'll also be allowed into the Vietnam and Korean War Memorials. A National Parks Service spokesperson has said the agency determined it was the veterans' legal right to tour the monuments.

Holl's daughter, Cheryl Heiser, will accompany him on the flight, which returns Tuesday night, and said she's glad her father and the rest of the Bay area veterans traveling to D.C. won't face the same controversy as last week's group.

"I'm so glad that they have decided to let the veterans in," Heiser said. "It's their memorial, and they need to be a allowed to be in there. They gave their lives. They gave so much for this country."

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