Shutdown not stopping Eastern Iowa Honor Flight - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Shutdown not stopping Eastern Iowa Honor Flight

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Richard Phipps served in the Navy during World War II.

"I was carrier-based in the Pacific," said Richard Phipps.

He used to tell his family members -- like his grandson, John -- stories of his time in the military.

"The change that they went through as high school seniors, shortly thereafter going into a war like World War II, and some of the lifelong friendships and connections that he created that are really different and unique than any generation since," said John.

John signed his grandfather up for Wednesday's Honor Flight, which hit a roadblock two weeks ago when the federal shutdown closed national parks and memorials.

The Eastern Iowa Honor Flight Board of Directors talked to other groups who've made the trip since the shutdown began and decided to continue their flight as planned.

"Across the board every one of them said it's not that difficult," said George Rickey of Eastern Iowa Honor Flight. "There's not that big a change, so come on out. And we knew that, time-wise, we couldn't afford to delay because some of the people who are on this flight Wednesday might not be here in the spring."

The Phippses were glad to hear they can go.

"It seems absurd that programs like this and the memorials for the veterans would not be accessible," said John.

Richard Phipps has been to Washington, D.C., before but not since the World War II memorial was built. He's looking forward to seeing it for the first time and meeting other veterans.

"I think it'll be interesting, and maybe I'll see some names of people I know," said Richard Phipps.

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