Honor Flight from Toledo will go regardless of shutdown
Wed, 02 Oct 2013 22:47:51 GMT —
After WNWO's story about veterans scheduled for an honor flight next week facing possible arrest made national headlines on the site drudgereport.com, and garnering 280,000 hits, the president of the Northwest Ohio Chapter of Honor Flight has had an outpouring of calls and emails.
"Most of them are begging me not to change our mind. To go and stand up for what's right for these veterans," says NWO Honor Flight President Lee Armstrong.
Armstrong was going to make a choice whether to go on Friday, but says with such a show of support, how could he not go.
"You need to show up there. You need to tell the government that this is wrong. You can't do this to our veterans," he says.
Even with the looming possibility of arrest, veterans stormed the World War II Memorial again Wednesday.
One local army veteran going on the Honor Flight on October 9, says he'll do the same thing.
"I'm willing to be arrested for what I think is right," says David Glasmire, retired army veteran.
The National Park Service has now said they will allow visits to the WWII site moving forward, but didn't mention other sites, and there are veterans from other wars going on the October 9 trip as well.
"We have Korean vets. We have World War II. None of them should not be allowed to see their memorials," says Armstrong.
Mariam Wuwert sewed stars on the original flags used during the World War II Memorial dedication. She says it would be outrage to deny any veteran access to their memorial.
"I think it's an insult," she says.
For many of these retired service members, this trip is means the world.
"I had a buddy of mine from the Vietnam War, Shaner, that I might be hopeful to find his name," says Glasmire.
Wuwert, who volunteers at the local VA Clinic says she's been on many Honor Flight. She tell WNWO that when she asked the people who participated in the flights about the event, they often describe it as the best day of their lives.
Sadly, some don't make it to their scheduled flight.
"They put a flag on the seat of the person who passed away that was supposed to go," says Wuwert.
The government closure of these sites could mean denying some veterans the opportunity ever to see them.
Armstrong explains, "I have several on the flight that are probably not going to make it if we have to postpone the flight. Some are in hospice and not in good health."