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Veterans receive honor flight mission
KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The federal shutdown has affected many things and people: from furloughs to the closing of national parks, monuments and memorials -- including the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, vets arriving from Mississippi and Iowa were greeted with a barricade, but they didn't let that stop them. Now, despite the government shutdown, veterans can still visit this particular memorial.
That's good news for a group of Southwest Michigan vets who learned Saturday they'll soon be making the trip to see it.
It'll likely be the last mission for these vets, a thank you from the West Michigan community to the men and women who served for our freedom.
Saturday, five World War II veterans were surprised at home. Each was informed by a National Guard member of an upcoming mission. That mission: to travel to Washington, D.C. in a few weeks to see the war memorials.
Talons Out Honor Flight, based in Portage, has been working for weeks to raise the funds to send two dozen veterans on the day long trip. The non-profit was inspired after bringing an honor flight documentary to West Michigan last year. Those behind the cause say if it weren't for these men and women, the United States wouldn't be what it is today.
"If it weren't for these veterans, we wouldn't be there today and I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing," Col. Brian Dykstra says. "So, just to see the history and know we are able to give them the recognition they deserve is certainly rewarding to me and the rest of the military."
The first Southwest Michigan honor flight departs Saturday, Oct. 26. For information in participating in the send-off or welcome home festivities, or donating to the cause, click here.