MILWAUKEE -- Plenty of tears, smiles and hugs welcomed a group of veterans home at General Mitchell International Sunday afternoon. Snap-On Inc. out of Kenosha paid to fly the veterans to see their memorials in Washington D.C.
"To me it meant so much more because of the loss of four of my crew members," World War II veteran Ed Adams said.
Adams was shot down during a bombing mission. This was his first time seeing the memorials, but there were worries it might not happen.
The partial government shutdown locked some veterans out of the memorials last week, but these vets were able to get through.
"They let us through every memorial that was there," Adams said. "It was beautiful."
"We got in being a veteran, but a lot of people there couldn't get in," vet Werner Steinseifer said. "It's kind of sad, you know?"
Steinseifer fought in Italy during World War II. He says this will be his last visit to Washington D.C., which made the warm welcome home bittersweet.
"It really makes you cry almost," Steinseifer said. "It's something. I don't know how to thank the people."
"Everywhere we went the veterans received that respect," Snap-On's Terri Wruck said.
For now, the veterans are still the only ones allowed around the barricades. But Adams hopes every vet and their families get the chance to take in the memorials they fought for.
"Go get it, it's beautiful," Adams said. "And that memorial, I tell you, it makes you think. And actually causes tears."