Reno WWII vets return home victorious, despite gov. shutdown
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Nevada's veterans received a warm welcome Sunday night as they returned to Reno from the wilds of Washington D.C.
Hundreds gathered at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport to greet the 38 veterans, mostly from World War II, who took part in Nevada's Honor Flight. It's a program that brings vets to Washington to visit monuments and national sites.
Joe Carney, who was in the Eighth Air Force, took a minute to catch his breath on his way down the long aisle of supporters waving flags and signs.
"It's unbelievable we expected a little crowd here in Reno, but not this big of a crowd. This is a huge crowd."
Carney says they got into most of the major spots like the Lincoln Memorial and the White House.
This flight was made all the more meaningful by the fact that, when they left on Friday, they weren't sure if they'd even get into most of the sites, due to the government shutdown. As proof of their success, they brought back a piece of the police tape that they'd forced their way through at one of the memorials.
"The Germans couldn't stop these guys; the Japanese couldn't stop them; the North Koreans couldn't stop them. I don't know why they thought politics could stop them because this is from the barricade in Washington..."
Gunny Rios is one of the organizers of Honor Flight NV.
"They weren't able to do all of them, but I believe we had seven congressmen and Senator Heller down there to make sure they could get into all of the memorials. So this will be their welcome home party."