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When the men who saved the world from imperialism need a little help, suddenly our government cares about setting “problematic precedents.”

For shame:

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – The military has denied a request from a World War II veterans group for transportation to Iwo Jima this week to commemorate the historic battle that took place there 65 years ago.

The Greatest Generation Foundation asked the military for help after a charter plane company that had volunteered to take the group from Okinawa to the battlefield canceled unexpectedly two weeks ago. But Pentagon officials denied the request because it could set a problematic precedent for other nongovernmental agencies that ask for similar assistance, U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Marine Maj. Bradley Gordon said Tuesday from Hawaii.
[...]
Before the decision was made, the Denver-based nonprofit brought 12 aging veterans who fought at Iwo Jima from the United States to Japan over the weekend as planned, hoping the military would be able to provide transportation.

“[The veterans] are very emotional. They know the dream of going back to Iwo Jima is not going to take shape,” said Timothy Davis, president of the foundation, which has sponsored battlefield trips for veterans since 2004.

“We’re going to fight this,” Davis said. “I have to do what I can to get these boys back to Iwo Jima.”

Here are a couple of ideas that might help the Greatest Generation Foundation get the veterans to Iwo:

1) Invite Nancy Pelosi and her family. Nancy has no problem getting her hands on military jets. The vets would not only ride in comfort on Facelift Force One, but get plenty of free booze ta boot.

2) Invite President Obama. A photo-op like that in a congressional election year and with 2012 right around the corner would be priceless. Suggest to the prez that nothing beats a “date night” on Iwo (throw in this Iwo Jima cigarette lighter to close the deal). The least we can do for these men is to let them hitch a ride on the presidential jet.

3) Veterans groups could raise money from the government by disguising their real intentions, because obviously getting a group of men back where they helped win WWII isn’t important enough. Asking the government for a few million dollars to restore a beer museum and to develop a sex-ed video game for kids would probably get funded in no time. Our government prioritizes like no other.

In all seriousness though, behold this irony. The men who helped defeat Japan cannot go back to the island where they helped defeat Japan without the permission of… Japan:

Military officials recommended the group arrange the flight from Okinawa to Iwo Jima with another company. But Davis said the foundation could not afford the $50,000 it would cost after already having spent the $150,000 to get the group to Japan.

The government of Japan must approve all flights — commercial or military — to Iwo Jima, now officially known by its original name Iwo To.

How many of those Iwo veterans are now wearing confused looks and saying, “I thought we won.”

In any case, if you know of anybody who wants to contribute to helping these heroes get some closure, put them in touch with TGGF.

Update: From the sound of this story, the US government was involved in helping sponsor a commemoration Wednesday on the island. No word though on why some others apparently weren’t aided in getting there.

Comments

5 Responses to “WWII Vets Need Help Getting Back to Iwo Jima”

  1. tracy on March 3rd, 2010 4:12 am

    what a disgrace. if those vets feel strongly in their hearts about this, then we (and Washington) should honor their wishes. the powers that be are apparently suffering from severe memory loss.

  2. TexaSwede on March 3rd, 2010 1:06 pm

    Remember how quickly the government wanted these vets in 1942 to get to Iwo Jima!

  3. Joyanna Adams on March 3rd, 2010 5:33 pm

    Well….if they are going to give away food to anyone who happens to be living there, and medicine, or build some houses for Jimmy Carter..their wishes would be "granted"

    From now on…our military will be used for "rescue" missions…unless of course, Obama needs a few votes.

    Thanks for that story…it was not mainstream…really sad.

  4. Rick on March 3rd, 2010 6:05 pm

    It’s not like Congress and they vacation cost free every year with stolen money. Come to think of it those vets OWN the island.The military should find a way. Screw the Japs.

    The ‘Victory at Sea’(1952) film of the Iwo Jima battle is stunning.

  5. Nanny on March 4th, 2010 12:47 am

    An update from Fox News – a C130 was provided to the vets by the military and they did make it Iwo Jima today. Glad to hear that some common sense kicked in and saw the need for these vets to honor the fallen who did not make it home. The college students that are documenting this trip said they are in awe of these guys. They said they are so humble and only want to honor their brothers who fell on the island and are upset about the publicity this has created. Indeed – the Greatest Generation. God Bless you guys!

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