Government shutdown threatens ETX veterans' WWII memorial trip - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Government shutdown threatens ETX veterans' WWII memorial trip

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

A group of 30 East Texas veterans are preparing for the trip of a lifetime, to see the WWII memorial in Washington, D.C.

Many of the veterans have never seen the memorial, dedicated to their service. 

"I've been to Washington and I've seen all the other things but the memorial wasn't built when I was there," says David Gulley, a WWII veteran going on this year's Brookshire's WWII Heroes Flight. 

So when they watched what happened to a group of Mississippi veterans at the memorial on Tuesday, they could not believe their eyes. But, they cheered when they saw what East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert did to help them. 

"I think that's the thing to do. I got a kick out of that. The Japanese and Germans couldn't stop us. The dang barricades weren't going to do it," Gulley says.

"If the shutdown is still in effect when we go, I expect the same thing for us," says Dr. Harold L. Smith, another WWII veteran going on the trip.

The threat of the government shutdown lingering through the group's trip is very real. Gohmert says their visit to the capital is just one thing that could be very different this year. 

"They're saying because of the shutdown, if we're still shutdown, that they are, for security purposes, limiting a member of congress or senator to only taking in 10 guests. So I'm going to need other members of congress to go through with me and I've got people committing that they will do that," says Gohmert.

He also says he has people committed to moving the same barriers to let the East Texas veterans see the WWII memorial. 

Brookshire's says they are doing everything possible to keep the trip activities as planned. 

"There are a lot of things to see in Washington, D.C. And we hope to take full advantage and show these veterans a great time and certainly honor them with this trip," says Rebecca Sanders, public relations director for Brookshire's.

The veterans say even if adjustments have to be made, being together and sharing the bond of war will be enough. 

The latest East Texas Heroes Flight will leave on October 10th from the Fresh by Brookshire's parking lot in Tyler at 7 o'clock in the morning. 

Organizers hops a big crowd will gather to send the group off. 

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved. 


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