Bay area WW II vets may be grounded by shutdown - WFLA News Channel 8

Bay area WW II vets may be grounded by shutdown

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WWII vet Leonard Black WWII vet Leonard Black
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

The "Honor Flight" allows veterans from all over the country to fly to Washington D-C and spend a day at the nation's memorials, at no cost to them.

Fred Fels is one of many Bay-area veterans who was looking forward to making an "honor flight" trip next week, to see the world war two memorial.

But the government shutdown could put those plans on hold.

Fels said, "It is a disappointment because I have been looking forward to this. I'd like to see it before my day is over."

Fels, a Navy veteran, is expected to join 79 other vets who are planning to visit the World War two memorial.

But the political bickering in the nation's capital has forced the National Park Service to close all memorials.

Leonard Black with "Honor Flight of West Florida says "its very frustrating and it is a shame that this has to occur, after all these WW ii veterans are the reason the congressman are up there, where they are is because of the veterans and what they did 69 years ago."

Black is one of many volunteers who coordinates the "Honor Flight's" out of Tampa.

He says for many veterans who are in their late 80's and early 90's, time is running out to see the memorial dedicated to their service.

Black went on to say, "This is really important to the veteran, it might not be to the public, but to the veteran it means something to them."

That's why Black and others hope congress can at least work something out, that would allow the "Honor Flight" veterans in to see the memorials.

Fred Fels isn't giving up hope.

He said, "I will go I will go on that trip, maybe not next week, but maybe next year, if I am still here."

The Bay-area honor flight coordinators say, they haven't closed the door just yet on next week's trip.

But they say if things aren't cleared up in Washington by Sunday. they will have to cancel and re-schedule next Tuesday trip.

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