Q: Nothing in life is free. What’s the catch?
There is no catch, we promise. As a nation, it took us almost 60 years to build a memorial to your service and sacrifice during WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The least that we can do is to bring you to Washington DC to see the memorials that were built in your honor. It is our small way of saying thank you for saving the world from tyranny.
Q: Will health issues prevent a veteran from flying?
Many, if not most, of our veterans will need to use a wheelchair for all or a good portion of the day, and we have enough wheelchairs and support personnel to accommodate every veteran on each flight. We travel through Washington D.C. in luxury buses that have wheelchair lifts available, if needed. We also fly veterans who require the use of oxygen. Any veteran requiring oxygen must submit a prescription from the doctor for oxygen use while on the trip.
Q: What if I require a wheelchair or oxygen?
WHEELCHAIR - Every veteran who flies with us will have a wheelchair available and most of our veterans will use this chair for some or all of the day. Even veterans who have never sat in a wheelchair before welcome the chance to take a rest during a portion of the day. We recognize that this day of honor is a very long day.
OXYGEN – If a veteran requires oxygen, their health care provider must supply a prescription for it which identifies the delivery method (mask or nasal cannula), frequency (as needed or continuously), and the rate of delivery (liters per minute). Honor Flight will provide the veteran with the oxygen concentrator for the flight, as well as the bottled oxygen for the day.
Q: I really wanted to go but now I am just too old.
You are in good company then since the average age of our veteran is 89.5. On each trip, we have veterans who can’t see, veterans who can’t hear (most), and veterans who can’t walk. Yet after the trip, the veterans almost always tell us that their day with Blue Ridge Honor Flight was by far one of the best days of their lives.
Q: How is someone selected to go on a flight?
Veterans fill out a Veteran Application, which includes a Medical form, and either fax or mail the application to the office. Once we receive the completed the Application, our Flight Team works to invite our veterans to fly for their Day of Honor. Veterans are generally called for a specific flight about 3 to 4 weeks before the flight date.
Q: How much does it cost? Who pays for the trip?
Our veterans have already given so much through their service to our country. All costs associated with the veteran’s trip, including airfare to and from Washington DC, are covered by Honor Flight. Guardians pay $400 each for the honor of escorting a Hero to Washington DC. There is a reduced rate for our medical team to fly. Flights are funded by donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, schools, military organizations, and other fraternal organizations who wish to be an important part of honoring these heroes and who recognize the urgent need to fly our veterans to see their memorial. No funding is received from the government.
Q: Can another family member fly with my mom/dad as an escort or “Guardian”?
GUARDIANS are picked by our Flight Selection Team based on a number of factors. The number of guardians varies depending on the needs of the veterans on that particular flight. Guardians must be at least 18 and no more than 75 years of age and be able to easily lift 100 pounds, since they will be assisting veterans into or out of wheelchairs, up and down stairs, etc. First priority is given to doctors and nurses who dedicate their time and expertise to help make our trips safe, active duty military personnel and HFC volunteers who have provided long-term consistent volunteer service to HFC and serve as our Flight Crew. Guardians pay for their own trip and must attend a mandatory training session.
Important Note: Family members of veterans are invited to apply to be part of our Guardian team. However, we are unable to guarantee they will be invited on the flight. When filling out a Guardian Application, it is important that you indicate on the Guardian Application the name of the veteran you wish to fly with. There are a limited number of spots available for family member Guardians on each flight, so unfortunately not all family members who apply to be Guardians will be able to accompany their veteran on a flight. Also, each veteran is only allowed one guardian.
Q: Will my dad/mom have to pay for anything?
Unfortunately, we cannot have spouses fly with HFC unless that spouse is also a veteran. Our priority is to honor those who served our country in its time of need.
Q: How do I get an application?
Click here to find our Veteran and Guardian applications. Or, you may call us at 866--776-0650 to request an application be mailed to you.
Q: How can I find out more information on upcoming flights and the Homecoming?
Please check our website and Facebook page periodically for flight updates. The general public is always invited to welcome our returning heroes home the evening of the flight. We do not recommend that you join us in the AM since you must have a ticket in order to clear security.
Q: What if I need to bring medication on the fight?
Medications DO NOT need to be in their original containers. Please bring a three-day supply just to be safe.
Q: Can we meet in DC and ride on the bus?
We usually have a limited number of extra seats and if available you are welcome. If you would like a lunch , the cost is $10.00