Oct 6, 2013 3:50 PM by Nathan O'Neal

75 veterans leave for nation's capitol on Honor Flight

TUCSON - A group of 75 veterans boarded a charter "Honor Flight" for Washington, D.C. - to see the sights and visit the World War II Memorial but there could be some obstacles in their way.

It was the largest "Honor Flight" chartered out of Southern Arizona and it included one woman and a POW.

Shirley Crowell said that this is the most exciting thing to ever happen to her.

"Getting on a plane and going to Washington, it's exciting," she said. "I haven't been anywhere for a while.

She served in the Marine Corps during World War II and says discipline is something that she learned and continued to carry with her for her entire life. She also met her husband, who has since passed away, while serving in the military.

Her story is just one of 75 separate stories that will make their way to the nation's capitol.

However, as the country continues to face a federal shutdown and furloughed workers, you can't ignore the cloud of uncertainty that looms over this trip. Many of the popular sights are closed and barricaded off - but that was something that didn't stop a group of veterans visiting Washington, D.C., last week.

"They're ready to go, they're honored - they should be entitled to get into see," said Catherine Wilson, a supporter of the Honor Flight program. "This is their memorial."

Shirley's daughter, Chris McCrew agrees. "So many of them gave so much. There's absolutely no reason to put fences and guards around an outdoor memorial that should be open to the public.

The veterans will return on Tuesday, October 8th, to a welcoming celebration at Tucson International Airport at 6:30pm -- which is their scheduled arrival time.


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