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Central Missouri Honor Flight disregards the government shutdown

By Brad Johnson, Reporter, bradj@kmiz.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 10:16:07 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 14 2013 07:17:26 PM CDT

A day after demonstrators grabbed barricades and stacked them in front of the White House to fight the stalemate in Washington DC, a group of Mid-Missouri veterans is preparing to join the action.

COLUMBIA, Mo. -

A day after demonstrators grabbed barricades and stacked them in front of the White House to fight the stalemate in Washington D.C., a group of Mid-Missouri veterans is preparing to join the action.

On Tuesday, the 25th Central Missouri Honor Flight is taking off from Columbia at 2 a.m. and not returning until late in the night.

Honor Flight leaders told ABC 17 News even though sites are technically closed because of the government shutdown, that will not stop them.

They said there will be 70 World War II and Korean War veterans on the flight. Leaders said it's going to take more than just fences to keep them from seeing monuments and memorials dedicated to their service.

Other Honor Flights have been able to physically move the barricades to get veterans into the closed memorials and the 70 Mid-Missourians said they are going to follow in that path.

“I've told our veterans, 'You guys took the beaches in the South Pacific and the cliffs at Normandy, and a few bike racks and some police tape probably aren't going to stop you,'” Central Missouri Honor Flight President Mary Paulsell said.

Paulsell said they will physically move the barricades to let the veterans in if they have to. She said other honor flights told her the since the memorials were closed to the public, they aren't as crowded as they've normally been.

Paulsell said one of the many things she's learned from her time with the Honor Flight is to adapt to what you're given. She said the barricades are such a small part in the lives of the veterans, it shouldn't be that big of a deal.

“What we're honoring here are these achievements, this history, this contribution and commitment, this nation is so greater than anything that some politicians in Washington can create,” Paulsell said.

Paulsell said most of what she's hearing from the veterans is they don't really care about about the barricades. She said they're looking forward to being with one another and replacing some bad memories with good ones from this trip.

There's one more Central Missouri Honor Flight scheduled for this year in November. Officials said they'll start back up again during the spring.

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