GREENVILLE - The end of the federal government shutdown brought relief to many around the nation. It also brought joy to a group of area veterans. 82 vets went on an Old Glory Honor Flight Thursday.
Hundreds of family and friends gave this group of World War Two, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans a roaring welcome home.
The vets told FOX 11 it was a fitting ending to a great day: their Old Glory Honor Flight to Washington D.C. Was a success.
"The best part is they opened everything up that was closed down and we saw everything. Every cemetery, everything, we saw it today. It was just wonderful," said Carl Thiel.
It was wonderful, because several monuments were closed only a day earlier due to the government shutdown.
These veterans weren't going to let that step in their way though.
"Whether there were barriers or not, we were going in," said Don Wyman.
Luckily the group did not have to contend with barriers.
The end of the government shut down put everyone, including the event planners, at ease.
"To see that it was opening up, we all breathed a sigh of relief knowing they were gonna get to see all of what they so much deserve to be able to see," said organizer Lorraine VanKampen.
And when they got to D.C., no one noticed a difference.
"It was just great, you'd never know that there was a bunch of...all that stuff going on," said Jerry Tollard.
The veterans got to see the Vietnam Wall, the World War Two Memorial and Arlington Cemetery, just to name a few.
And they were thankful certain...amenities were back up and running too.
"And it was good to have the bathrooms open!" said Wyman.
Most of all the vets say the trip meant a great deal. It left them with closure and good memories.
"It's hard to explain. It's just something I'm glad I got a chance to do. It was just like starting all over. It was just great. I had a wonderful time and I never forget this. Never," said Tollard.
This was the 21st Old Glory Honor Flight. The Appleton-based group started running their "missions" in 2009.
Area volunteers are making a difference in the community this holiday season. At this time of the year, many people are looking for ways to help their neighbors. The Salvation Army is one of the many places where you can do just that.
For the second year in a row, St. Norbert College could house overflow of homeless people from the St. John the Evangelist shelter in Green Bay.
A memorial fund has been created for a Grand Chute firefighter killed in a weekend car crash.
Appleton police executed a search warrant Thursday in connection with a fatal nightclub shooting.
Capital Credit Union is offering to match donations made to Salvation Army red kettles in the Fox Valley on Friday.
With just two weeks until Christmas, the Postal Service says it's heading into its busiest times. But are folks still sending letters of holiday cheer?