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Local Woman Heads to DC for Million Vet March

Hopatcong Army veteran is calling on residents to take part in Oct. 13 Million Vet March, which calls on Congress to reopen national parks and memorials.

World War II Memorial in D.C. in Patch file photo
World War II Memorial in D.C. in Patch file photo
A local woman is making the trek southward to demand the reopening of national memorials closed due to the federal government shutdown.

Laura Oostdyk is making the five-hour drive for Sunday's Million Vet March with her husband Paul. She told Patch she is hoping many people from the area will make the trip.

"I am a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army from 1985-1990, and a Hopatcong resident," she said. "The March is open to everyone who believe our war memorials and national parks should be reopened to all."

The main march will take place at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Many more events will take place at war memorials across the nation.

"They are open air parks generally open 24/7/365," Oostdyk said, "but because of the government shutdown, they have been barricaded and guarded from allowing anyone entry, specifically, WWII wets at the WWII Memorial in D.C."

The veteran said the march and rally have nothing to do with politics or political parties and everything to do with ensuring that veterans have access to honors they have earned.

"I'm not a political person, but I'm disgusted about the government shutdown and how we Americans are the ones being hurt by all of this," she said. "There are honor flights of WWII vets being flown [and] bussed into DC to the WWII Memorial only to be told they can't go in.  Since the shutdown, there have been many people at the memorial helping these 80-90 year old vets to get through the barricades. 

"This is who the march is for, along with all others that wish to visit," she said.
Phil October 09, 2013 at 06:27 PM
I also will be going from Royersford.
Michele Guttenberger October 09, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Wish you success in your rally. A Million Vets will be some sight too see to make a real impact statement. The National site that is dear to me is the Thomas Alva Edison Musuem in West Orange NJ. It is part of the National Park Service and it is also closed.
Mikey October 10, 2013 at 07:21 AM
Instead of restoring services piecemeal how about a rally to get the republicans to stop holding our country hostage? They are like a little schoolyard brat who can't stand the fact that he lost so he will take his ball and go home. The ACA is law. Rather than holding your breath and stamping your feet, how about working to make it better?
Tony October 10, 2013 at 08:32 AM
The typically spineless Republicans are finally showing some backbone here and standing up for the American people. If anyones holding the country hostage, its Obama and the Democrat party. Complete refusal on their part to compromise or even debate the issue. This "Obamacare" is a complete disaster and its not even fully implemented yet. Obama has been, illegally, granting exemptions and waivers to big corporations and unions while completely screwing the american people! Many don't even realize the extent to which this bloated bill (Obamacare) is going to screw with their lives! Once signing up, your medical information is shared within departments of the government who have no business seeing it, for example, the IRS. On top of that, its an identity-thefts dream come true. The, so called govt. shutdown isn't even much of a shutdown. It only amounts to about 17% of the govt. Obama is selectively closing down memorials and such to punish people because he is not getting his way. This alone should show people what a horrible idea it was, and is, to hand healthcare over to the government. While Obama has closed open-air memorials, and the national mall, he allowed ILLEGAL aliens to hold a protest! The people of this country need to wake up and take back their country.
Michele Guttenberger October 10, 2013 at 09:56 AM
Tony -" illegally, granting exemptions and waivers to big corporations "is not exclusively a Democratic Party Trick. Has anyone informed the people on medicare "medical information is shared within departments of the government"? The point that both parties have done financial and economical damage to our country has merit. Your supporting shut down argument pointing blame on the Democrats is not a strong one. I don't think veternan and social security payments should be put at risk to defend these positions you mentioned as a worthy cause for a shut down that delays and holds up processing these entitlement payments at ransom. This hurts even the most cherished of our "American People". And, I would not call the actions that do this "Republican Backbone".
Tony October 10, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Tony -" illegally, granting exemptions and waivers to big corporations "is not exclusively a Democratic Party Trick. Has anyone informed the people on medicare "medical information is shared within departments of the government"? The point that both parties have done financial and economical damage to our country has merit. Your supporting shut down argument pointing blame on the Democrats is not a strong one. I don't think veternan and social security payments should be put at risk to defend these positions you mentioned as a worthy cause for a shut down that delays and holds up processing these entitlement payments at ransom. This hurts even the most cherished of our "American People". And, I would not call the actions that do this "Republican Backbone". Its certainly more backbone than they've shown in recent history. Both parties are governing against the will of the people, and have been for some time now. In this case, Obamacare, the majority of the people remain opposed to it. The government shutdown is currently being portrayed as something that has never happened before, it has, many times. No social security payments are at risk, never have been, they are used as a scare tactic by the president however. The president is responsible for any financial pain currently being felt by the shutdown. The republicans have offered individual funding to stop most of the 17% shutdown. In fact, until somewhat recent history, that’s how funding used to be done. Another fact is that the Democrat party has not passed a budget as required under the constitution in the last 4-5 years which would have prevented these continuing resolutions. We are being lied to as well with the debt ceiling. Being told that it will cause the country to default on its financial responsibilities is completely false. There is more then enough monthly tax revenue to pay the interest on debt as well as fund current liabilities. The debt ceiling should most certainly not be raised as it will further push down the road of un-sustainability this administration has taken us down.
Little Bit October 10, 2013 at 11:13 AM
Before everyone starts jumping on National Park Service Not all NPS are following orders and preventing the public access/entry, not all of them agree with the orders issued. Antietam National Battlefield was open and visited by anyone in the area all week and will accept visitors without issue. Rangers on patrol just wave and keep driving. I also took a drive down to C & O canal, and though main gated areas are closed/secured they don't prevent visitors from walking in to enjoy the scenery. I've also spoken to a few friends whom have visited other National parks/monuments without incident of prevention.
Joseph Flynn October 10, 2013 at 01:04 PM
I am against this. Veterans, going to DE for ourselves is disloyal. We need to go for all the people threatened by the Republican House - Social security recipients, military death benefits, people needing food stamps, KIDS needing food stamps, people needing a $10 dollar minimum wage.
Michele Guttenberger October 10, 2013 at 04:53 PM
Tony - although I may not agree with everything in your second argument. It was a better argument . Yes, we all agree the debt ceiling can not be raised again. But the Republicans try to rouse us with old moral majority banners issues. Don't see the "stop liberal spending by our Gov" banners from them. The Repulicans wasted the attention of the American People on where the President was born and the morality of single women getting free birth control. These are not the issues that wake me up at night. The economy is what I find disturbing . So based on the past focus issues they have against Obama, I have little faith it would be a real civil and productive discussion that produces brillant ideas on fixing the debt problem since both parties helped create the mess we are in. I don't see the Republican Party as the guys charging in on their white horses to come to our rescue. I see them more as standing with their with water pistols to put out a forest fire.
Judith Beliveau-Steele October 10, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Headline: Boomers Unite! Sis from MS p/u us from SW Illinois (near STL) rain or shine going to Million Vet March, very serious event. Honor at stake here. How many of you can visualize a person behind each headstone or wounded warrior? We sure in the "H" can.
tim leary October 11, 2013 at 06:55 AM
Impeach Obama and it will end.
Donald Stewart October 11, 2013 at 07:28 AM
May God bless everyone in this march as we as a nation have completely removed him from our nation,l knoq that God is still in control although it may not seem so at times.May we change our direction and turn back to our creator .Don Stewart
tim leary October 11, 2013 at 10:24 AM
Why doesn't Obama give up on on obamacare since 70% of America doesn't want it.you libs are so uninformed the government is not you parent stop asking for an allowance!
tim leary October 11, 2013 at 10:37 AM
P.s I know u mean well and that doesn't make u bad people.
Eyeballs October 11, 2013 at 12:25 PM
end the military benefits now. they all get pensions and free health care for life. the military is set up as a communist/socialistic system. we don't get these goodies in the private sector... why should they? even the pay grade system is socialistic... a pay grade say... E7... all make the same. duh.. let the free market dictate... tea baggers unite... down with obamacare/medicare and the veterans administration....
Phil October 12, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Eyeballs, most veterans receive no military benefits. I have not seen a dime from the Navy since I departed in 1982, nor do I expect to. And FYI, both sides of the political spectrum are culpable in manufacturing this problem. The Republicans in the house passed a budget, but the Democrats in the Senate refues to consider it.
Eyeballs October 12, 2013 at 05:22 PM
closing the entire "nanny state" government would be great... we would all save a ton of cash... tired of hearing about how all vets are heroes... blah...blah... they have a job to do just like me... they get a pension, and free benefits for life... i don't... do you?

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