Story by: Katie Kyros
The “Million Veterans March” was held in Washington, D.C. on Sunday to protest the Government shutdown. At the same time, a local veteran held his own march at the Gettysburg National Military Park.
Joe Barnhart served with the Army National Guard in Iraq. He says he knows what it’s like to be in unfriendly territory, but not in the United States. He’s bothered by signs at the Gettysburg Battlefield, preventing entry because of the Government shutdown.
On Sunday, he organized a march in protest. It started at Lincoln Square and ended at the Pennsylvania Monument, a place close to his heart.
“I got promoted here at this monument a week before I went to Iraq, so that’s why I picked this as my location to come to, because it means something to me,” Joe Barnhart says.
Mike Kulkusky joined in on the march.
“People have the right to come and see and learn about the people who gave their lives so we could have what we have now,” Kulkusky sais.
Facebook was an important platform for the march. Barnhart used the social media site to invite fellow Americans to join him, and many did. They say they’re sending a message to Congress.
Barnhart says, “These are our parks, these are our lands. We the people own this. I’m just really proud. I’m proud to be an American and I’m proud of everybody that’s come out to support.”
Some hikers have ignored barricades at parks across the country and a few were fined by the National Park Service. Barnhart had no issues with authorities at Gettysburg during his march.
He says, “Somebody said that I could get up to a $75.00 fine. The Government knows where I live, they can send it in the mail.