Wednesday, October 9, 2013
A Kansas Honor Flight leaving Wichita Wednesday could be unlike any other. This time, the cloud of a partial government shutdown could affect the trip.
The latest plane filled with veterans flies to Washington, where many locations officially are closed. Organizers of today's trip admit some memorials probably will be skipped, such as Fort McHenry.
Kansas Honor Flight President Mike VanCampen told Good Morning Kansas changes have been made, compared with the eight earlier trips this year featuring World War II vets. "One of the real challenges, believe it or not, is now we have to readjust to know where the bathrooms are for these guys."
The shutdown hasn't stopped honor flights from other states, over the last several days. Members of Congress have helped the veterans get past barricades, to visit the World War II Memorial on the National Mall.
VanCampen revealed how the Department of the Interior has determined the visits are legal. "Because of their first amendment rights, they are allowed to enter to discuss the closure of their World War II Memorial - and while they're there, they're allowed to view the memorial."
VanCampen added a furloughed federal worker in Washington contacted him, and offered to serve as a tour guide for the visit.
This group of veterans will be in Washington through Friday. They're expected to return to Wichita at 8:20 p.m. Friday.