Shutdown Doesn’t Stop Arkansas Veteran’s Visit to Memorial
The National Park Service decided Wednesday (Oct. 2) to keep the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C. open to veterans after dozens went in despite the government shutdown.
Julian Dyrhood, 94, is one of 78 Arkansas vets traveling to the nation’s capital on Saturday as part of an Honor Flight.
“It’s great,” Dyrhood said. “I wouldn’t get to see it, if this hadn’t come up.”
However, this once in a lifetime opportunity met a barricade when the government shutdown and closed its gates at the WWII Memorial.
“I was afraid it would affect me even going,” Dyrhood said.
Dyrhood said the shutdown wouldn’t have stopped him or any of the 78 vets traveling with him. Some were even willing to get arrested.
“Some would go and jump the fence if they have to, so I like that,” Dyrhood said.
Dyrhood’s only son, Martin Dyrhood, will be traveling with him. Martin said cancelling this trip wasn’t an option.
“Very frustrated with the anticipation of it being closed but after some quick calls communicating between that, the goal that we are going anyway and just to make the most of it,” Martin said.
The honor flights offer a one-day trip with all expenses paid.
“It was exciting to see his thrill to be able to go to this trip and the honor that’s been bestowed on all the vets from WWII,” Martin said. He has not had a chance to see it so we’re so we are looking forward to it,” Martin said.
Dyrhood joined the Army in the 1940s. He worked in the medical reserves. He said he can’t wait to share this experience with other vets.
“I know that there will be a lot of us there with different stories,” Dyrhood said. “I’m just really exited.”
The flights leaves Saturday from Little Rock.