Texas vets bound for Washington memorial despite shutdown

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 10:35 PM

DALLAS — Growing up, he never knew where his name came from.

"My parents never told me why they named me 'Winston.'"

Winston.

Churchill.

"Yeah, that's my name,” he said laughing, “it's been that way for 88 years."

When the British prime minister was waging war in Europe, this Winston Churchill was in the Pacific with the U.S. Navy.

This week — for the first time — Winston Churchill is supposed to visit the memorial to that war in Washington as one of 41 veterans that Honor Flight DFW is flying there on Friday.

But when the government shut down on Tuesday, barricades went up to close every single memorial.

"They campaigned that they would go to Washington and improve the situation, not to shut the government down,” Churchill said. “I just think it's disgraceful for those congressmen up there to shut our government down."

"They're fighting,” said Tudy Giordano, Honor Flight DFW. “They really are fighting mad, and they are disappointed. They're disappointed it has gotten this far."

Politicians pushed through the gates on Tuesday, causing the National Park Service to make an exception late Wednesday.

"World War II veterans will be allowed in the World War II memorial,” Giordano said. “Not the other war memorials. Just the World War II memorial. The others will be closed to them."

It is often said time is running out on these old soldiers, sailors and Marines.

It’s true.

Unfortunately, a half dozen of them have died in North Texas while waiting for their own flights this fall.

At 88, Churchill has little time for partisan politics.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com


Honor Flight DFW is a volunteer-run non-profit which relies on donations to send veterans to see their memorials in Washington, D.C. If you would like to donate, go to HonorFlightDFW.org.


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