NC veterans rally against government shutdown - WSPA.com

NC veterans rally against government shutdown

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BROADWAY, N.C. -

More than 100 veterans and their families rallied at the U.S. Veterans Memorial in Broadway, N.C., Sunday to take a stand against the partial government shutdown.

"I'm mad as hell and I won't take this anymore," retired Army colonel and N.C. Sen. Ron Rabin announced to the crowd.

Rabin's is the feeling many veterans share as that the government shutdown has closed federal memorials.

"Our war memorials -- as veterans -- are ours," said William Vaughn, who organized the rally and is also a veteran.

"This needs to stop," said, Jeff Weigle, a 14-year Navy veteran who brought his family from Virginia to join others taking a stand. "We need to be real, we need to honor those that have served this country."

Many of the veterans have experienced the ugliest parts of war but say they are now in another battle against the very government they served.

"I look back on it as an honor to serve my country, and so when the federal government takes the stand that it has barricaded a war memorial, it's a slap in the face. It's an insult," Vaughn said.

"We have to take our country back," Rabin said. "We the people own this country and they've seem to have lost complete track of that."

"If they don't open our memorials, we'll take them back," Vaughn said.

But their concerns aren't just over memorials. The Department of Veterans Affairs says if the shutdown continues into November, the department may not have the money to pay out certain benefits.

"Veterans and their families may not receive a pension check, disability check, or access to medical facilities for treatment," said Vaughn.

"If you can't keep the promises you make to the people who put their life on the line to protect our freedom, you're being so two faced that I don't even want to have an open dialogue with you," said Rabin.

The veterans say until things are sorted out they will continue to do what they do best, fight for what they believe in.

"You will not treat us this way we won't stand for it," said Vauhgn.

Jonathan Rodriguez

Born in California but growing up in South Carolina, Jonathan Rodriguez joined WNCN in June 2013 as a digital journalist. More>>

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