South Florida Veterans to Visit World War II Memorial | NBC 6 South Florida

South Florida Veterans to Visit World War II Memorial

Veterans, volunteers planning for Honor Flight to see memorial

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    South Florida veterans will be visiting the World War II Memorial in Washington later this month. Buddy Galvin, Julian Syphax and volunteer Mandy Georgi comment. (Published Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013)

    Some South Florida World War II veterans didn't let enemy forces keep them from winning the war, and they're not letting a government shutdown keep them out of their memorial.

    Veterans from across America have been making the pilgrimage to the World War II Memorial in Washington and later this month, the first group from South Florida will go.

    Buddy Galvin, 92 years old, will be on that plane.

    "The World War II veterans are dying 800 to 1,000 a day, and pretty soon there will be no World War II veterans, they'll all be gone," Galvin said.

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    As a potential government shutdown approached Monday, officials in South Florida were getting ready. Sgt. Scott Schmidt, the marketer in charge of recruiting Marines in South Florida, spoke about the Marine Corps’ plans. Retired veteran David Vazquez spoke about the issue of government shutdowns. (Published Monday, Sept. 30, 2013)

    That's why The race is on to get aging veterans to the memorial.

    At Broward College Wednesday night, volunteers with the Honor Flight program planned for their October 27th flight. Some 16 veterans from the area will go, free of charge. Each will have a guardian with them acting as an escort.

    Mandy Georgi is volunteering.

    "Because it's honoring them and the sacrifices they have done for us and our country and if they are not able to see that then it's kind of a crime, it's a shame," Georgi said.

    The memorial is part of the National Park Service, shut down in the government stalemate. And as people tried to enter Wednesday they were stopped by park rangers.

    Texas Republican Congressman Randy Neugebauer told one she should be ashamed of herself for denying people entrance.

    Park Officials have since eased their position and are letting Honor Flight members into the memorial.

    South Florida Navy veteran Julian Syphax was on a recent honor flight and called it one of the greatest experiences of his life.

    "I put it right up there, honestly, I mean it sincerely, with the birth of my children," Syphax said. "I mean, I never in my life experienced such a thing."

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