Veteran Honor Flights Continue Despite Government Shutdown

By on October 4th, 2013
Veterans will visit the National World War II Memorial Saturday on a trip sponsored by the Villages Honor Flight.

Rick Latoff / American Battle Monuments Commission

Veterans will visit the National World War II Memorial Saturday on a trip sponsored by the Villages Honor Flight.

Local veterans will be granted access to the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. despite the government shutdown.

The Villages Honor Flight, a chapter of the Honor Flight Network, will be flying out 25 WWII veterans Saturday on a one-day, all-expense-paid trip to visit the memorial in honor of the war they fought.

Villages Honor Flight volunteer John Driscoll said he doesn’t expect any trouble on their trip, unlike a group from Mississippi on the first day of the government shutdown.

“The first day of the shutdown, the veterans had to break into the memorial because they just tried to barricade the memorial at the entrances,” Driscoll said. “Congressmen were there to help – they realized these veterans are in their late 80’s-early 90’s. This might be the only chance they’ll ever get to do this and to deprive them of this opportunity is just unfair to them.”

Volunteers, also known as guardians, will also attend the trip to help the veterans during the experience. The veterans will return to a Welcome Home Ceremony they missed out on 70 years ago.

“When they return at night we try to give them the homecoming they never had at the end of their service,” Driscoll said. “Most of these veterans didn’t get back til late ’45 or early ’46 – so they never really had a homecoming when they came home. The country was weary, and they didn’t care about going about honoring individual soldiers as they came home.”

Police and over 20 motorcycles will escort the veterans for the last 10 miles of their trip to the Welcome Home Ceremony. A free event for the public is being held before, starting at 9:30 p.m. at the American Legion Post 347 on County Road 466 and Rolling Acres Road in Lady Lake.

This entry was posted in National and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

More Stories in National

Brian Williams arrives on the red carpet of the White House Correspondents Dinner on May 9, 2009.

Poynter Ethicist Says Brian William’s Story Undermines Journalism Credibility

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams’ credibility is questioned after claiming he was in a helicopter hit by an RPG. Williams says that he was actually in the following aircraft that was not hit.

Christoper Stidham, 21, fills up his Nissan Hardbody Tuesday at the BP at 931 W. University Ave.

National Average Gas Prices Fall Below $3 Per Gallon

Gainesville gas has fallen under $3 per gallon, keeping with average gas prices across the U.S. This is the first time in four years that national gas prices have dipped below $3.


Retired Journalist Reflects On Captivity And Recent ISIS Actions

In response to recent Islamic State actions, Terry Anderson, a University of Florida adjunct professor, reflected on being held hostage in Lebanon for six years and how negotiations with terrorists have changed.

CDC Confirms First Ebola Case In The US

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the first case of Ebola in the United States. The man diagnosed with the virus was traveling from Liberia to Dallas.

Locals Protest Keystone XL Pipeline Construction

The protest was part of a national campaign by Credo.

Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments