QUESTIONS ABOUT
VILLAGES HONOR FLIGHT

  1. What is Honor Flight?
  • National organization (Honor Flight Network) dedicated to transporting all US military Veterans to Washington, DC to see their respective war memorial at no cost to the vet.

  1. What is Villages Honor Flight?
  1. Who can go (Veteran)?
  • Any US Veteran who served at least one day of ACTIVE DUTY at any time is eligible.
  1. Who can go (guardian)?
  • Guardians assist Veterans during the day helping them during assembly at the local airport, while on the flight, while in the DC area, on the return flight and for homecoming at American Legion Post 347.
  • Guardians can be any able-bodied man or woman who wants to make a difference and are no more than 75 years of age for a new Guardian and 78 years of age for an experienced Guardian.
  • There is a guardian screening process (we need to make sure that the applicant can do the job). 
  • New Guardians are asked to make a donation of $250 and experienced Guardians $200 for the privilege of going on the flight and helping the Veterans.
  • For more on Guardians, click here.
  1. Can wives go?
  • No.  The only spouses who are permitted to go are those who are Veterans themselves.
  • A wife could conceivably go on the same flight if she were to be a guardian, but she can not be her husband’s guardian.
  1. I am the widow/widower of a Veteran.  Can I go?
  • Sadly, the answer is no. We simply do not have the resources, funding, or seating available to transport all the Veterans who are presently on our waiting list. Adding spouses and widows simply is not an option for our program.
  1. Can my son, daughter, grandson, etc. go as a guardian??
  • Only under certain limited circumstances. Our TOP priority is the safe travel of ALL the Veterans.  Who will or will not serve as a guardian, and how many guardians will be needed, is the sole responsibility of the Hub Director. That decision is based upon many factors, such as:
    • How many disabled Veterans are scheduled to go?
    • Of the disabled Veterans going, how many will have to be physically assisted getting on and off the bus?
    • Which guardian applicants are most qualified? Medically trained, active duty military personnel and guardians who have previously participated in a flight are given top priority and serve as leadership members. Applicants physically capable of assisting in the lifting of Veterans are a top priority. Once the director feels enough of those positions have been filled, other applicants are then considered.  These decisions are made by the Hub Director.
  1. How do I get on the List?
  • Go to the Applications page and complete the online Vet or Guardian or Volunteer application.  If you know a vet that does not have computer access there is a printable application on the same page they can complete and mail to Villages Honor Flight as per the instructions at the bottom of the form. 
  • When we receive your application, we will review it and call you to confirm our receipt of the application.  If we have any questions, we will ask you about them during the call.
  1. Will I go on the next flight?
  • That depends on when your application was received.  We operate on a first come, first served basis; terminally ill Vets go to the top of the list.  In most cases vets will fly within 2 years, guardians within 12 months.  That said, submit your application as soon as possible as everyone participates on a first come, first served basis.   
  • We presently have over 500 vets on the waiting list and we expect that each flight will take either 40 or 60 vets to Washington.
  • But I was promised … No one in Villages Honor Flight has the authority to promise when a vet or guardian will fly except the Veteran Coordinator (for vets), the Guardian Coordinator (for guardians) or the President/Hub Director. 
    •  In a perfect world we would be able to schedule missions precisely and tell everyone when they will fly.  Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world.  Building the mission manifest for 40 / 60 vets and 40 / 60 guardians is far more complicated than you might think.  Even though we work from a carefully prepared list and everyone flies on a first come, first served basis, the “next 40 or 60” is never the 40 or 60 that eventually fly on the next flight.  The reasons are many and range from vacation schedules to other personal issues. People tend to hear what they want to hear.  We make no promises about specific flight dates until the mission is in advanced planning and participants are formally notified (by telephone and then by letter) — typically 10 to 12 weeks before the actual flight.  If a potential guardian asks when they will fly, we cannot accurately answer that question.  We can provide our best estimate but that is all it is — an estimate.
  •  I am really sick, can I go on the next mission?  Please read below for information on how we try to accommodate very sick Veterans.
    • Very sick vets (terminally ill) get top priority but there are practical considerations.  Very sick vets will go to the top of the list as we are planning for the next mission. The planning normally starts 8 to 10 weeks before the actual flight.  Unless they are unable to participate due to calendar conflicts or other causes, they are on the next mission. 

      We may be able to substitute a very sick vet for a more healthy vet during the planning process.  Vets meet their guardian early in the mission (typically 6 weeks before the flight) and spend a lot of time bonding; so it can get complicated but a substitution may work out.  Virtually every mission has some dropouts for a variety of reasons.  If we have very sick vets on the waiting list, they are given top priority for any openings.

      We put a lot of effort into understanding each vet and his/her medical condition so we can be prepared during the actual flight.  We try to not let any medical condition bar a vet from participating but we must know the full situation so that we are prepared and the vet’s health and safety are not put in jeopardy.  Very sick vets often require special equipment, special supplies and special personnel.  We are an all volunteer organization with limited resources; being prepared can not be practically done at the last minute.

      We mount missions, not just flights.  The flight is an important part of the mission but it is only part of a larger mission.  There are mission elements that can not be completed if the vet arrives at the last minute; it is our opinion that some of those elements are more important than the actual flight.

      In summary, we do everything we can for really sick vets.  We now have a flightless program which will expand what we are able to offer to vets; but there may be times when we are unable to do much “immediately”.

  1. I have heard about “Valor Flight”, what is that?
  • Valor Flight is an organization in Alabama dedicated to flying all Korean War vets in the Tennessee Valley Area to see their memorial in Washington, D.C.
  1. Are there other Honor Flight chapters in Florida?
  • Yes, there are several Honor Flight chapters in Florida.  You should apply to the closest chapter because that makes everything a lot easier.  Click here to see a list of Honor Flight Hubs in Florida.
  • If you are a Veteran from outside our service area, you can apply to Villages Honor Flight and you will get the same priority as any other Veteran.  
  1. What is the difference between an escort and a guardian?
  • There is no difference.  Both refer to the person who escorts and assists the Veteran(s) during the flight.  We used “escort” initially.  We switched to “Guardian” because that is the term used by most of the Honor Flight chapters and the National organization.
  1. What is the Flags Of Our Heroes Program?
  • This is a program to remember those Veterans who have passed away  For more information, read more here
  1. What is the difference between a Mission and a Flight?
  • The actual Flight (to D.C.) is one element of the overall Mission which consists of all activities and events leading up to and after the Flight.  The Flight is a one day event.  The Mission starts with the first preflight meeting 6 weeks before the Flight and ends with the Reunion which could be several months after the Flight.
  1. What are these “preflight meetings?
  • The preflight meetings help everyone prepare for the actual flight.  They are very important.  
  1. How do I get on the Mailing List for periodic information?
  • Villages Honor Flight publishes a monthly newsletter.  Register at a club meeting or submit your email to newsletter@villageshonorflight.org to receive one in your email.
  1. When are the Missions or Flights?

QUESTIONS ABOUT VILLAGES HF
FLIGHTLESS PROGRAM

  1. What is the Flightless or Simulated Honor Flight Program
  • A special program for vets who are unable to fly
  1. When and how long is the mission?
  • The first simulated mission was held on 27-Sep-2014.  Two more flightless missions are planned for each calendar year.
  • The simulated “flight” is about 5 hours from send-off to homecoming.
  1. Who can go (vet)?
  • Any Veteran with an Honorable Discharge.
  • Preference will be given to WWII vets who have not been to DC to see the WWII Memorial and any terminally ill (war service) vets; see Question #9 above about very sick vets.
  • Vets pay absolutely nothing for the entire trip including transportation, food, etc.
  1. Who can go (guardian)?
  • Guardians assist Veterans during the entire mission (preflight, social events, simulated flight)
  • Guardians can be any able-bodied man or woman who wants to make a difference.
  • There is a guardian screening process (we need to make sure that the applicant can do the job) 
  • Guardians are asked to make a donation of $50 for the privilege of going on the flight and helping the Veterans.
  • For more on Guardians, click here
  1. Can wives go?
  • No.  The only spouses who are permitted to go are those who are Veterans themselves
  • However, we will accommodate spouses who are essentially primary care-givers.  They will accompany the groups as “special staff”.  Call the infoline for more information. Each vet will still have a dedicated guardian.
  1. I am the widow/widower of a vet.  Can I go?
  • Sadly, the answer is “no”. We simply do not have the resources, funding, or seating available to transport all the Veterans who are presently on our waiting list. Adding spouses and widows simply is not an option for our program.
  1. Can my son, daughter, grandson, etc. go as a guardian??
  • Only under certain limited circumstances. Our TOP priority is the safe travel of ALL the Veterans.  Who will or will not serve as a guardian, and how many guardians will be needed, is the sole responsibility of the Hub Director. That decision is based upon many factors, such as:
    • How many disabled Veterans are scheduled to go?
    • Of the disabled Veterans going, how many will have to be physically assisted getting on and off the bus?
    • Which guardian applicants are most qualified? Medically trained, active duty military personnel and guardians who have previously participated in a mission are given top priority and serve as leadership members. Applicants physically capable of assisting in the lifting of Veterans are a top priority. Once the director feels enough of those positions have been filled, other applicants are then considered.  These decisions are made by the Hub Director.
  1. How do I get on the List?
  • Go to the Applications page and complete the Vet or Guardian form. When you click the submit button you are placed in VHF database and your application is sent to the appropriate administrator who will contact you. Or, download the form and fill it out and mail it to Villages Honor Flight as per the instructions at the bottom of the form. 
  • When we receive your application, we will review it and call you to confirm our receipt of the application.  If we have any questions, we will ask you about them during the call.
  1. Will I go on the next mission?
  • That depends on when your application was received.  We operate on a first come, first served basis; terminally ill vets go to the top of the list.  Missions are filling up fast.  That said, submit your application as soon as possible as everyone participates on a first come, first served basis.   
  • But I was promised …   Please read the FAQs to see comments about “promises
  •  I am really sick, can I go on the next mission?  Please peruse the FAQs for information on how we try to accommodate very sick vets.