Frequently Asked Questions - Guardian

Is there any cost to the veteran?

For the Veteran, this is an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. Your only expense would be if you choose to buy souvenirs during the trip or go to a refreshment stand or a business such as the hotel lounge. Included in your Honor Flight trip is (1) Round-Trip Airfare, (2) Two-Night Hotel Stay at a First Class Hotel, (3) All Meals including a Banquet, (4) Charter Bus Transportation everywhere during the trip.

When should I apply?

PLEASE, fill out your “Veteran Application” NOW. This is a first-come, first-served process. You only apply once and you are placed on a wait list. If the next flight is full, your name will automatically roll to the next flight, and so on. Also, priority is given first to WWII Veterans (Dec 7, 1941 – Dec 31, 1946), then veterans serving until the end of the Korea War (Jan 31, 1955), and then veterans serving until the end of the Vietnam War (May 7, 1975). Your DD-214 will have your service dates. EXCEPTION - A terminally ill Veteran is given first priority

Can I bring my personal wheelchair or scooter on the trip?

No. But, we are very well prepared to provide wheelchairs for every veteran for the duration for the trip. Our wheelchairs can also serve as a walker. Veterans are encouraged to bring their personal cane if they wish, but please make sure you have your name address and phone number clearly marked on the cane.

I am on bottled oxygen; do you provide assistance for that?

Yes. We will provide qualified assistance for Veterans who require oxygen. However, we must receive the oxygen prescription as soon as the trip is confirmed so that we can prepare for your needs on the plane and for the duration of your time in DC.

Should I bring my camera?

Yes! Please make sure you have fresh batteries and film or available memory on the SD card. It also helps to practice with new cameras in advance of the trip so that you understand how they work well before you need them. Guardians will be happy to assist you.

Is there an “orientation” before the trip?

One or two weeks before the trip there will be an orientation, we call a Get-2-Gether. At the “Get2Gether” you will receive an overview of the trip, meet other veterans traveling with you, and have a chance to ask questions. Everyone will receive a jacket, cap, t-shirt and a duffle bag. For the most part, everything that you will take with you on the trip must fit in the bag we provide. Free light refreshments are served.

Do you provide transportation to the airport?

It is the responsibility of Veterans and Guardians to secure transportation to and from the Fresno airport and our Get-2-Gether.

I live more than 150 miles from Fresno, can I join your trip?

As our mission statement reflects, Central Valley Honor Flight is committed to honoring local veterans. Veterans should apply to the "hub" closest to their home. Our service area covers those veterans living in California’s Central Valley, from Tulare to Stockton. This is the area our medical team is able to make any necessary home visits and close enough for veterans to attend our orientation and the flight departing from Fresno. To find the hub closes to you, visit our national website at www.honorflight.org There are other national programs for those living more than 150 miles from any hub.

Can my son/daughter/family member be my Guardian?

Yes. Other than your spouse, family members, age 18 to 72, are eligible to be your Guardian if they are physically capable of assisting the veterans and staff during the entire trip, have submitted a Guardian Application and completed Guardian Training. They will also make a donation to cover their own travel expenses. YOU travel at NO COST!! We will contact them after they submit their application. Note: A spouse may not serve as a guardian unless clinically trained for required medical care.

I’m in great shape, do I need a guardian?

EVERY Veteran must and will be accompanied by a guardian. If family or friends are not available because of work, not living close enough, etc. we have many volunteer guardians waiting to show their gratitude to you for serving our country. This is a trip of a lifetime for them too. About 20 percent of our veterans travel with a non-family Volunteer Guardian. Serving as a Guardian is a working position to help provide a safe and secure trip for all veterans. Guardians help with pulling wheelchairs from under the buses, move coolers full of water and ice, help serve lunch and do many other physical things.

Can my spouse come on the trip?

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. These trips are dedicated to our veterans and with limited space, we must ensure that every available resource is allocated to their accommodation.

Can multiple family members or friends accompany me on the trip or meet me in Washington?

We allow only one family member to act as a veteran’s Guardian. This ensures that all available airline seats are dedicated to our veterans. We do encourage family members living in the D.C. area to meet Veterans at the memorials or during free time at the hotel. However, they may not ride our buses or dine with us. If it is helpful, they can be given the name of the hotel and book their own rooms. But unfortunately, ONLY the Veterans and Guardians may enjoy the contracted hotel group meals.

Can I have my own room?

Due to room availability, expense and safety all Veterans will share a room with their guardian or another Veteran. We understand that some Veterans may have physical conditions that they believe will be an issue or inconvenience for a roommate. However, our experience has confirmed that this accommodation does not create any real issues, particularly given the minimal time we actually spend in the hotel room.

Can my friend, who is a veteran, go on the same trip with me?

Although Veterans may not be moved up on the priority list to travel with a friend, a veteran may slip to a latter trip to accommodate this request. We also have many Veterans serve as a Guardians as long as they are age 18 to 72 and physically capable of assisting the Veterans and staff during the entire trip.

I served after the Vietnam War era, do I qualify?

Unfortunately, we currently do not process applications for veterans serving after the Vietnam War. When that become possible we will update our website with instruction. Younger Veterans are always welcome to serve as a Guardian.

I know someone buried at Arlington; can the bus stop by their graveside?

No. Arlington Cemetery spans 624 acres and finding a specific gravesite cannot be accommodated within the limited time that we have available. In addition, the charter bus is mandated to follow a very specific route that allows us the privilege of parking directly in front of the pathway to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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