Latest News

Senate defense bill has $66M less for Wright-Patt project than House

Vet still gets 100th birthday party at AF Museum despite Govt shutdown


UPDATE @ 4:32 p.m. (Jan. 22)

A government shutdown this weekend made for a shorter-than-planned birthday party for a World War II veteran at the Air Force Museum on Wright Patterson’s base.

On Tuesday, Thomas Eubanks of Springfield turns 100.

His family planned a surprise for him over the weekend at the museum. Eubanks arrived for the noon party, and the family was alerted they only had until 1 p.m., due to the government shutdown, said grandson Kevin Black. 

“The Museum was very accommodating considering what they were up against,” Black said. 

Black said his grandfather, a tail gunner in WWII, was surprised by the 100th birthday party. They were able to get a photo in front of the tail gunner position of the B-17 on display at the Air Force Museum.

EARLIER REPORT

Kevin Black hadn’t thought about how the possibility of a government shutdown would affect his family.

World War II veteran Thomas Eubanks of Springfield turns 100 on Jan. 23. To celebrate, his grandson, Black, organized a birthday party for him at the Air Force Museum on Saturday.

With the possibility of the government shutting down tonight, the museum may not open, and the outlook of the party is up in the air.

“I don’t like the playing politics on this,” Black said. “They’re just playing games.”

RELATED: With no deal on shutdown, GOP accuses Sherrod Brown of flip-flop

The possible museum closure hadn’t occurred to Black or his family until this news organization contacted him about the party, which he had asked us to cover.

His family wasn’t the only ones uncertain of what will happen next.

Diana Bachert, spokeswoman for the Air Force Museum, said Friday night in a statement there is currently no order for the museum to shut down.

“However, we will follow procedures for an orderly shutdown when and how we are directed to do so,” Bachert said.

If Congress fails to come to an agreement on a continuing resolution (CR), a bill that appropriates money to different federal departments and programs, some federal agencies could come to a standstill.

MORE: What if UD and Wright State played this year in a Gem City Jam?

Black’s plan is for Congressman Warren Davidson to present Eubanks with a certificate, then Black will present his grandfather with letters from President Donald Trump and Gov. John Kasich.

But if there is no CR passed, Congress plans to stay in Washington and try to come to an agreement, meaning Davidson may have to miss the party.

Black said his grandfather doesn’t know about the planned celebration at the museum.

“He just thinks that a bunch of the grandkids are taking him to the museum,” Black said.

And he probably will continue to keep plans a secret, in case the museum isn’t open.

“(Eubanks) was sick a couple weeks after Christmas, and we didn’t think he was going to be able to go (to the museum). But he wants to go if they don’t shut down,” Black said.

MORE: What if a government shutdown happened? Five things to know

Eubanks is a widower; his wife Suzanne died in 2000. They were married for 59 years.

In WWII he served as tail gunner in the European theatre, an area of heavy fighting across the continent. He flew 13 combat missions from Knettishall Airfield in England.

“Tail gunner was the worst place to be,” said Black, who is retired from the Air Force.

He worked as a building inspector for Springfield for several years.

He lives in Oakwood Village Retirement Home in Springfield. He has four children, nine grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and four great, great-grandchildren.

“He’s got all his wits about him,” Black said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Grand jury indicts defendant accused of using pruning shears to stab a man
Grand jury indicts defendant accused of using pruning shears to stab a man

A Montgomery County grand jury Friday indicted 53-year-old James Freshour of Dayton stemming from an attack earlier this month during which he used pruning shears to stab a man. Freshour was arrested at the scene. He remains in the county jail on two counts of felonious assault. He is scheduled to be arraigned May 31, according to online court records...
Central State says grad’s dance on stage will cost him $300
Central State says grad’s dance on stage will cost him $300

A Central State University graduate said he can’t get a job in his field of study because he did a dance during graduation. Dwayne Davis said the school fined him $300, and that he can’t get his full transcripts to show potential employers until he pays up. “I don’t have $300. I just graduated college. I don’t have $300...
Senate defense bill has $66M less for Wright-Patt project than House
Senate defense bill has $66M less for Wright-Patt project than House

The Senate Armed Services Committee has set aside $116 million for a National Air and Space Intelligence Center complex expansion at Wright-Patterson, millions less than a House version in a defense bill, but a spokeswoman says U.S. Sen. Rob Portman will advocate for the full amount. The $182 million project would vastly expand NASIC, add new computer...
Dayton schools to tweak graduation ceremonies after families shut out
Dayton schools to tweak graduation ceremonies after families shut out

Dayton Public Schools will make two changes to its graduation ceremonies next year, after some families weren’t able to see their students graduate this week, and district officials said there was an issue with falsified tickets. More than 100 people were told they could not enter the Dayton Masonic Center on Thursday when they arrived for Ponitz...
Ivanka Trump defends Serena Williams, slamming her status as unseeded at French Open
Ivanka Trump defends Serena Williams, slamming her status as unseeded at French Open

Ivanka Trump is defending tennis great Serena Williams and slamming Williams’ lack of seeding at the French Open, calling it a penalty for being pregnant. >> Read more trending news  “This is ridiculous,” Trump said on Twitter. “Serena Williams is a formidable athlete (best ever) and loving new mother. No...
More Stories