Our “One More Tour with Honor” would not be possible without the help of our Volunteer Guardians. We keep Volunteer Guardian applications on file and send an availability check, via email, approximately 60 days before a trip we may need you for.
Yes. Guardians must be between the ages of 18 to 72 and be in good physical health. They must be capable of assisting veterans in and out of a wheelchair and pushing a veteran in a wheelchair up a slight incline. A spouse may not serve as a guardian unless clinically trained for required medical care.
The timeframe for submitting your application, if you are going with a veteran who is a relative or friend, is not as critical but must be completed shortly after your veteran is informed of a firm travel date. You may complete the application online at www.cvhonorflight.org or print out the application and mail it to us. Your form asks if you are applying to travel with a specific veteran, and their name. You will be linked automatically to that veteran.
Guardians play a very significant role on our trips and are responsible for helping to ensure every veteran has a safe and memorable experience.. Essentially, they act as the veteran’s safety “always only an arm’s length away bodyguard”! Duties include: physically assisting their veteran at the airport, during the flight, on and off tour buses, at the hotel and at the memorials. Guardians also remind veterans to take medications, ensure that they are dressed for the weather and they stay hydrated throughout the trip. Guardians get veterans where they need to be at the allotted times (airport, dinners, bus, etc.) A full itinerary is provided to Guardians and veterans two weeks before the trip.
Guardians make a $1,200 tax-deductible donation to Honor Flight to cover their own travel expenses. Your pre-negotiated Guardian travel package includes Allegiant Airlines charter airfare direct to BWI/2 nights hotel/all meals/tour bus fees/snacks/jacket & bag. This donation is only due and payable once they have been confirmed to go on a trip. We will not accept any payment from the veteran. Payment instructions will come, via email, at least 30 days before the trip.
According to the IRS, your can only take a charitable contribution deduction if you are “on duty in a genuine and substantial sense throughout the trip”.
“Generally, you can claim a charitable contribution deduction for travel expenses necessarily incurred while you are away from home performing services for a charitable organization only if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel. This applies whether you pay the expenses directly or indirectly. You are paying the expenses indirectly if you make a payment to the charitable organization and the organization pays for your travel expenses. The deduction for travel expenses will not be denied simply because you enjoy providing services to the charitable organization. Even if you enjoy the trip, you can take a charitable contribution deduction for your travel expenses if you are on duty in a genuine and substantial sense throughout the trip. However. if you have only nominal duties, or if for significant parts of the trip you do not have any duties, you cannot deduct your travel expenses.”
(Source: Department of the Treasury, IRS. Charitable Contributions for Use in Preparing 2012 Returns)
Due to room availability, expense and safety all Guardians will share a room with their Veteran in a spacious Hilton Hotel room with two queen beds. Women “guarding” a male family member (father or grandfather) are expected to be the roommate. Non-family volunteer guardians of the opposite sex will room with a guardian of the same sex and a staff member will room with your veteran.
Yes. Although you may opt to apply as a Veteran and travel at no cost with other veterans from the era you served. Each trip seems to have over a dozen guardians who have served.
You will be assigned to one veteran. In rare cases, you may be asked to accompany two veterans if they are able to walk unassisted. Please note that while you will be assigned a specific veteran(s), Guardians work as a team and assist other Guardians and veterans as needed.
Take photos. While the veterans are busy taking pictures of the memorials, it is wonderful to have the Guardians take photos of the veteran throughout the day. Photos that show the veterans enjoying the sites are the ones most cherished by family and friends. Engage. You will have the opportunity and privilege of hearing firsthand accounts of the war to end all wars! Ask questions as appropriate and listen. Some of our veterans have fought in the Battle of the Bulge, survived Pearl Harbor, landed on the beaches of Normandy, stormed Iwo Jima and engaged in a multitude of notable and critical battles. The camaraderie of this trip will entice many to tell their stories. Speak with the spouse in advance of the trip. Many of our veterans have not been separated from their spouses for quite some time. It’s nice to reassure beloved husbands and wives that the veteran is in very capable hands.
Yes, our national certification requires all guardians to receive training. A two-hour Guardian training session is held a week or two before the trip, normally on the day or weekend the trip orientation meeting (“Get-2-Gether”) is held. You will learn our safety procedures, learn how to work as a team with other guardian to assist with wheelchairs, receive tips for a successful trip, and meet the staff. A makeup session is normally held a couple days before departure for guardians traveling from out of state.
While this is always a difficult and sometimes emotional question to answer, it is the policy to exclude spouses unless they are also a veteran, even if they are willing and able to pay their own expenses. The National Honor Flight network has the “Honor Flight Solo Program” that allows a spouse to accompany their veteran. More information and applications can be found on their website at: https://www.honorflight.org/honor-flight-solo-program/
For Honor Flights in the in 2020 and beyond, please be aware that TSA will require all travelers to have an ID that meets real ID requirements in order to pass through airport security to board the aircraft. California’s waiver to this requirement will expire. If you use a current passport or Military Retiree ID card to board the aircraft, they currently meet TSA’s ID requirements. But, if you use a California Driver’s License or California Senior ID you will have to update it to meet the real ID requirements. See: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/realid It currently takes over 90 days to receive a new card. Please note: VA medical cards do not meet TSA requiments.