World War II Vet: They Won't Keep Us Locked Out Of Memorials

Saturday, October 5th 2013, 10:51 pm
By: News On 6

One World War II veteran is worried about his upcoming trip to Washington, D.C. next week and says he's ready to fight his way in to see the memorials.

More than 80 Oklahoma veterans from America's Greatest Generation are boarding a plane to see memorials that are shut down due to lack of government funding.

Just like national parks across the country, several D.C. landmarks also were closed because of a stalemate at the Capitol.

Sixty-nine years ago, U.S. Army veteran Jack Williams was fighting the Japanese occupation in the Pacific.

He remembers being in Manilla and Luzon when Gen. Douglas MacAurthur was there.

Williams is about to relive all those memories with 81 other World War II veterans on an Honor Flight.

They're gearing up for a trip to see the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

But there's one problem, Congress hasn't voted to fund the government yet.

The federal government been shut down for almost a week.

That means some national parks and D.C. memorials have been closed with fences.

But the Honor Flights haven't stopped.

"The fella who is in charge of it kind of hinted that -- they're not going to keep us locked out," Williams said.

A group of veterans on an honor flight from Mississippi made it through the closed World War II Memorial.

Williams may not be able to see all the memorials on this all-expenses paid trip.

Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine's office says it will do everything they can to get veterans in to see the memorial.

"The Honor Flights are the last opportunity most of these aging veterans will have to visit their memorial," he said. "We have met with veterans on a previous Honor Flights and witnessed how moved they were by the experience. We will do everything we can to assure that the opportunity will not be denied."

Williams just wants Congress to come together and pass some funding for the government.

"It was just an exercise in meanness is what I think," Williams said. "It's the same message I guess everybody has: Get this thing settled and get everything back to normal."

Williams says he would have never dreamed of going on this trip if it wasn't for his granddaughter's

"I don't think I would of done it if she hadn't," he said. " don't think I would have gone on it, and now I'm really anxious to go,"

The Honor Flight leaves on Tuesday for D.C. on a charted plane from Oklahoma City.

The flight is full.

They'll make the trip in a day.