Despite shutdown, local WWII vets determined to see memorial - CBS 5 - KPHO

Despite shutdown, local WWII vets determined to see memorial

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A veteran waits to a board a flight at McCarran International Airport bound for Washington on Oct. 11, 2013. (FOX5) A veteran waits to a board a flight at McCarran International Airport bound for Washington on Oct. 11, 2013. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Las Vegas Valley veterans of World War II said they will not let a shutdown of the government keep them from their memorial in Washington.

Thirty-five people arrived at McCarran International Airport early Friday morning to board a flight headed to the nation's capital. The flight was part of the Honor Flight program, which gives veterans free trips to visit their memorials in Washington.

Because of the government shutdown, the agency which watches over the monuments and memorials has closed. Just after the shutdown, some veterans gained national attention when they arrived to find the landmarks barricaded, but pushed the barricades aside to gain access.

Those scenes left some of the veterans on Friday's flight worried about their plans, which include a visit to the memorials for not only World War II, but also the Korean War, Vietnam War, the Air Force and the Navy. They also planned to visit Arlington National Cemetery.

"You know you read about it in the paper, [but] you just skip over because it's immaterial anyway," said Phillip Barbre, a veteran of the Navy. "Well, I'll be darn. I hate to hear that."

Honor Flight Director Belina Morse said she does not believe there will be any problems getting to the World War II Memorial.

"Honor Flight network has arranged a permit for us to get on that site, and they've arranged also for bathrooms because the Park Service has shut those down," Morse said. "The Korean and Vietnam one, I'm kind of a little bit worried about, because no one is really saying anything, but we're going to give it a shot."

About 3,000 veterans are expected to visit Washington this month, mainly because of the nice weather this time of year.

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