Busloads of veterans who fought in Vietnam and Korea and World War II arrived in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to tour memorials dedicated to their service. There was just one problem: Due to the federal government shutdown, some of those memorials were closed, with barricades erected between veterans and the national icons they had flown 1,000 miles to see.
At the Arlington National Cemetery, TIME caught up with a group of veterans from Story County, Iowa, who had been barred from the World War II Memorial (though it was eventually opened to them) and asked them if they had a message to send to President Barack Obama and Congress about the current budget snafu. And they certainly did.
See their comments in the video above.
For more on the controversy over veteran access to memorials during the shutdown, read national security correspondent Mark Thompson’s piece on World War II veterans struggling to make the pilgrimage to the nation’s capital.