Rockford area veterans face battle with gov't in Washington D.C. - – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford area veterans could face battle with gov't in Washington D.C.

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Several Rockford area veterans say the federal government's hiatus can't shut down their spirits or take away their honor. Their major trip down memory lane goes on, just not technically as planned.

Tomorrow, three Ogle County veterans will be a part of an Honor Flight out of the Quad Cities. The three men are all Korean War veterans. As part of their trip, they're scheduled to tour war memorials in Washington, D.C., but the shutdown closed those monuments.

"We might not be able to get out and walk up close to it. It looks like they've got a barricade around the monument. It's too bad... It's too bad... But it's be better than nothing." -says Oregon resident and Korean War veteran Neil Holland.

Holland and fellow veterans Gene Medlar and John Heng signed up for the Honor Flight two years ago. They're just now getting picked. All three veterans are trying to stay positive.

"I don't know what we're going to see out there. We'll just have to see what happens. It's life." -Heng says. 

The shutdown could get in the way of the full Honor Flight experience.

"It's pretty childish, it seems like grown men ought to be able to get together and settle something without taking their toys and going home." -Holland explains.

Medlar adds, "It's going to be very sad for us. I'm anticipating getting to see the memorials, but if it's from a distance, I'll accept it. Someday maybe I can go back and see them."

Taking another trip could be an option for them, but the guys say they're concerned about veterans who might be visiting war memorials for the last time.

"No, it isn't fair, but there's nothing we can do about it, so we'll just do the best that we can, get as close as we can and enjoy it as much as we can." -Holland says.

Veterans from all across the country have visited these memorials in the last two days and for some, the shutdown isn't stopping them. They're busting through barricades to see their monuments.

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