Local WWII veterans head to D.C. on Heroes Flight

Local WWII veterans head to D.C. on Heroes Flight

TYLER (KYTX) - The government shutdown is not stopping Brookshire's from taking 30 World War II veterans from East Texas on a planned trip to Washington, D.C. Thursday morning. It's called the "Heroes Flight."

the Republican National Committee is offering to pay security expenses to keep the World War II Memorial open.

The group has a packed itinerary that begins as soon as they get on the bus. One local veteran is taking this trip for the first time with the group. He says he can't wait to leave.

In 1943, Gordon Kimbell left Jackson, Mississippi, for boot camp and never looked back.

"I joined the Navy when I was 17 and a half years old." he says. 

It wasn't long after that his submarine training was put to use.

"What do you think when you see this picture of yourself? Who is that guy?"

"Ha, who is that young whipper snapper?"

At 87 years old today, Kimbell is a proud world war II submarine veteran, now retired in East Texas.

"Back alive in '45."

He visited the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. six years ago.

"It's been a while." he says. 

But, he says going with this group will be even more special.

"This trip will be different because I'm going with other people who were in other parts of the war, so to speak, and I get to hear some of their sea stories."  

He says he's unhappy with lawmakers in Washington...

"They should be cooperating to let us see what we fought for."

But, he's not going to let the government shutdown ruin his trip.

"I'm looking forward to the monuments that I haven't seen. There's so many on there."

Politics aside, he says he can't wait to experience all the history and magic D.C. has to offer.

No word how the rest of the trip could be impacted by the shut down. But, Brookshire's organizers say they will do whatever they can to honor East Texas veterans no matter what.

The group returnS to Tyler Saturday night.


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