October 1, 2013

ISN’T THIS SORT OF THE BACKSTORY FOR STARSHIP TROOPERS? Veterans Plot To Expand Revolt Against Government Shutdown.

Military veterans are declaring war on the government shutdown.

After a group of veterans broke down the barricades at the national World War II Memorial Tuesday afternoon, organizers of one Hero Flight Network group told BuzzFeed it wasn’t the last Washington would hear from them. Veterans are plotting another protest at the same place Wednesday, and expressed interest in staging similar events at sites across the nation’s capital, including the Lincoln Memorial — an act of civil disobedience that would likely pour fuel on the already highly flammable politics of the government shutdown.

“We have people here that are 80 and 90 years old and they closed down all the bathrooms?” said Tony Nussbaum, a 25-year veteran of the Air Force from Iowa and a leader of the state’s Hero Flight group. “I’m about to just start pissing on the trees.”

The World War II Memorial on the National Mall became a political battlefield Tuesday, with conservatives excoriating Democrats for the monument’s closure as they escorted busloads of war veterans past bewildered park rangers and into the shuttered monument.

On Wednesday, the scene could repeat itself when groups from the Honor Flight Network — a national charity that brings aging World War II veterans to visit the national monument to the conflict they fought in — are scheduled to arrive at the massive outdoor memorial. Meanwhile, veterans have pondered staging a similar protest at the Lincoln memorial, said Jamie Miller, a five-year veteran of the Marine Corps and another organizer of the Iowa group that stormed the World War II memorial Tuesday.

Related: World War II veterans knock down police barriers to attend memorial on the National Mall; Update: Did a congressman lead the vets through the barricade?; Update: Congressman says Obama administration knew about veterans’ request and rejected it. Putting up barriers around open outdoor monuments was dumb shutdown theater and they deserve to have it backfire on them.

UPDATE: “I said, are you kidding me? You’re going to arrest a 90/91-year-old veteran from seeing his memorial? If it wasn’t for them it wouldn’t be there. She said, ‘That’s correct sir.’”

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