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Tearful WWII veteran turned away from Ohio museum because of shutdown

Associated Press

DAYTON, OHIO: An 88-year-old veteran who traveled to Ohio from New York to see the plane he flew in during World War II has been turned away because of the partial federal government shutdown.

The Dayton Daily News reports Joe McGrain of Rochester, N.Y., went to the National Museum of the United States Air Force on Tuesday to see the B-26 he flew in as a bombardier and navigator in Europe.

He also wanted to show the aircraft to his wife and two sons, who came from New Orleans and Washington for the trip. But with museum staff on furlough because of the shutdown, the McGrains were turned away.

“It never occurred to me that it would be shut down,” he said, adding that he was extremely disappointed as he held back tears. “I wanted to show them a little bit about Air Force history while I’m still around to do it.”

“My husband served in the service all those years and to come this distance and to have this happen .... just is a shame; terrible shame,” said his wife, Toni McGrain.

All but three of 95 civilian museum staffers went on unpaid leave Tuesday, with three remaining for security purposes at the home of vintage military aircraft and other items from Air Force history. The museum drew some 1 million visitors last year, and is a popular site for veterans’ reunions.


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