RENO, NV -- The enemy couldn't stop them and neither could their own government. Sunday was an emotional day for a group of local veterans returning from a trip to Washington, DC to see the memorials built in their honor.
"I said 'look at this, this is America!'" John Bisceglia, a WWII veteran, said.
For 39 World War II and Korean War veterans, it was the trip of a lifetime and for many of them, it was their first time visiting the nation's capital.
"When I saw that, the capitol, I said 'This is what I won the war for; this is my home,'" he added.
However, the government shutdown complicated the Honor Flight trip and if there's one thing these veterans know how to do, it's fight back.
"That's when we tore the barricades down and that's when I tore [the caution tape] off and thought I'd keep it," Paulie Crawforth, WWII veteran, said. "They tried to keep us out of the memorial that was ours."
When Crawforth finally set his eyes on the World War II Navy Memorial, the memories of the battlefield came rushing back.
"We all know what each other did; we all had a good idea of what happened to us," he said.
After an emotional weekend down memory lane, the vets returned home with the welcome they deserved.
"I was absolutely flabbergasted. I couldn't believe the turnout nor the interest," Whomes said. It's sort of a uniting experience for the community."
Hundreds of community members cheered them on to show them how much their services were appreciated.
"I shed some tears in my eyes coming down. It was immensely warm," Bisceglia said. "It's hard to express it, but all of my heart for all the people in Nevada."