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Local veterans to tour Washington memorials

Jennifer Sprouse • Oct 10, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Despite the government shutdown, several East Tennessee veterans will be taking a trip to the U.S. Capitol this weekend in recognition of their wartime service from long ago.

According to a release, Honor Flight Northeast Tennessee was formed in spring 2012 to take war veterans –– including World War II and Korean War veterans –– to Washington as a way to say “Thank You” for their duty to their country.

Before departing on their trip, the group of veterans met with Sen. Rusty Crowe at the Best Western in Johnson City Thursday night.

“I’m really proud of their service and wanted to go give them a hug tonight and ... to make sure we did a proclamation to honor their service,” Crowe said. “I’m not sure what the federal situation is up there from day to day in Washington, but it sounds like provisions (are) being made to make sure that ... all the Honor Flights get in to see their memorials. That’s my understanding ... that these veterans will be prioritized. They’re the reason we’re free and they’re the reason that these memorials are there to honor them.”

Today, more than 20 veterans from Northeast Tennessee will start their journey on a luxury coach bus with a motorcycle and police escort, and will make their first stop at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va.

According to the release, participants will arrive in Washington this evening.

On Saturday, the Northeast Tennessee veterans are scheduled to tour the WWII, Korea and Vietnam war memorials, as well as the Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force memorials. If time permits, the group will also visit other Washington memorials.

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