The government shutdown isn't going to stop a group of 80 local veterans who, like many of their contemporaries across the country, will board a plane Tuesday for an Honor Flight to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Honor Flight of West Central Florida, a nonprofit group that operates in 10 counties including those in the Tampa Bay area, will fly the men to see the memorial and a selection of other sights before returning them home Tuesday night for a "Heroes Welcome" at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.
Despite reports from earlier this week that authorities were turning away veterans groups from the memorial due to the shutdown, organizers say these vets won't be stopped.
"They may be barring other citizens, but the National Parks Service has given Honor Flights access to the memorial," said Jim Haake, one of those coordinating the flight.
In addition to the World War II Memorial, the vets will visit the Vietnam and Korean War memorials and the Air Force Memorial overlooking Arlington National Cemetery.
For more information about the flights, visit honorflightwcf.org.