Being an Honor Flight guardian requires total focus on and dedication to the Veteran you are assigned to escort. Honor Flight of the Cape Fear Area (HFCFA) sponsors the trip to Washington, D.C. to say “thank you” and provide a “welcome home” that few Veterans received. The day is about comradery and shared experiences with their brother and sister Veterans. It is a life-changing day for many of them. The guardian’s sole duty is to make sure the Veteran is safe and fully experiences all that Honor Flight offers.
Each guardian is assigned one Veteran to escort on the flight. Spouses/significant others of traveling Veterans are not permitted to be guardians on the flight. Adult children and grandchildren (18 and older) are welcome to apply. A guardian will be assigned to a Veteran if the Veteran does not designate a specific person to escort him/her.
Guardians must be physically fit to care for themselves, as well as for their assigned Veteran for a 16+ hour day.
Caring for the Veteran assigned to you includes, but is not limited to:
- Ensuring they have all the information and assistance they need prior to the flight. This can include making sure they have provided all necessary information and have made travel arrangements to get to the pre-flight training and to the flight. In some cases, guardians themselves may provide that travel.
- On flight day, the guardian is responsible for assisting the Veteran with getting in and out of his or her seat on the aircraft, the bus, and possibly pushing a wheelchair all day long. You will need to ensure the Veteran stays on time, get meals, drinks, bathroom breaks, and that they take whatever medicines are required. You are required to stay with the group, and at no time are you to allow your Veteran to wander off alone.
- Most importantly, a guardian needs to become a trusted companion very quickly for the Veteran. Your Veteran needs to be comfortable reaching out to you for anything prior to and on flight day.
- Be aware that many of these Veterans are elderly—the WWII Vets are in their 90’s, most of the Korean War Vets are in their 80’s, and the Vietnam Vets are in their 70’s in many cases. They will all need some amount of patience and understanding on your part. In some cases, your Veteran may want to have some private time since Honor Flight can be a highly emotional experience. You’ll have to judge just how close you need to stay to them. But it is essential that you never let them out of your sight. You are responsible for this individual all day. If the Veteran gets overcome with emotion, you need to be there to assist them physically and emotionally.
- There will be a mandatory guardian training session in Wilmington, followed by a Meet and Greet with your Veteran, on March 23, 2023. At that session, you will also be issued all your gear for flight day, so it is important that you attend.
- You must have no convictions for violence of any kind; no felony convictions; and not be a registered sex offender.
- HFCFA Board of Directors reserves the right to deny any application at the Board’s discretion.
IF YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH ALL OF THE ABOVE… please submit your application, a valid ID for airline travel, AND your $535 contribution. The contribution is for the privilege and honor of escorting the Veteran on the trip. You will not be charged any additional trip expenses.
NO GUARDIAN APPLICATION WILL BE CONSIDERED WITHOUT THE CONTRIBUTION.
NOTE: You can make your contribution online at the end of this application, on the donate page of our website, or by mailing a check. However, your application will not be considered until the contribution is received.
THANK YOU FOR VOLUNTEERING TO ASSIST OUR VETERANS!