Our “Tour of Honor” would not be possible without the help of our Guardians. They are the most privileged of our volunteers because they will spend the most quality time with our heroes. Guardians must be at least one generation younger than the Veteran.
Each Guardian is responsible for one Veteran from the moment they arrive at our departure location until they get in a vehicle to return home after our sit-down dinner. Guardians assist the Veterans with their individual needs to ensure the Veterans have a safe and memorable day. It is an emotionally fulfilling and rewarding experience to be able to escort our WWII and Korean War Heroes.
Guardians are volunteers and we asked them to pay for their portion of the trip, $150. To fully prepare for the responsibility, they are required to complete a brief, but comprehensive training session prior to the scheduled trip.
Here are answers to several frequently asked questions:
What are my responsibilities as a Guardian?
Guardians play a significant role on our trips and are responsible for helping to ensure every Veteran has a safe and memorable experience. Duties include: physically assisting the Veterans at our point of departure and return, while traveling on the bus, and at the memorials. You may also remind them to take medications, ensure they are properly dressed for the weather and that they stay hydrated throughout the day.
Do Guardians have to pay a fee?
Yes. To ensure that all donated monies are specifically dedicated to our Veterans, we ask that Guardians be responsible for paying their own travel expenses. The $150 check covers the cost of the meals, snacks, lanyard, T-shirt, and charter bus seat.
How many Veterans will I be responsible for?
You will be assigned one Veteran for the day. Please note that while you will be assigned a specific Veteran, we ask all Guardians to be available to assist any Veteran at any time.
Can I meet my Veteran before the trip?
Yes. Your Bus Leader will ask you to call the Veteran the week before departure and introduce yourself, exchange cell phone numbers, and answer any last minute questions the Veteran may have. But you are also free to arrange a meeting in advance of the trip if this is mutually agreeable.
How else can I help my Veteran?
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, participated in the first engagement in the Korean War, the Battle of Osan, or proudly endured the Battle of Inchon a decisive battle in Korea 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.
Will Guardians receive training?
Yes. All Guardians must attend a training presentation prior to the trip. A letter is sent out noting the date, time, and location of the presentation.
Can a son, daughter, family member, etc. go as a Guardian?
Yes. Family members are eligible to be Guardians if they are physically capable of assisting the Veteran during the entire trip, at least one generation younger than the Veteran and not the spouse, have completed a Guardian Application and Covenant not to Sue, and have submitted a $150 check to cover the cost of their meals, charter bus seat, name tag, and Honor Flight Philadelphia T-shirt. Our TOP priority is the safe travel of ALL the Veterans. Our ratio is one Guardian for each Veteran. Being physically qualified means the person can push a wheelchair all day if needed.
How are you funded?
Honor Flight Philadelphia is part of the national Honor Flight Network (www.honorflight.org). While we, along with the other 100 plus regional hubs, accept the national guidance and utilize their non-financial resources, we operate our program independently and entirely on donated funds from individuals and businesses that recognize the great accomplishments and sacrifices of Veterans and want them to see their memorials before it’s too late. As such, we hope you as an individual or any organization of which you are a member would consider this project worthy of your financial support. To donate funds, please send a check, made out to Honor Flight Philadelphia, P.O. Box 003, Broomall, PA 19008 or visit the “Donate” page of our website (CLICK HERE). Honor Flight Philadelphia is an all-volunteer, 501(c) 3 organization and all contributions are tax-deductible.
Can I make a donation to Honor Flight?
Honor Flight Philadelphia gratefully accepts donations from anyone EXCEPT our Veterans, as we believe our Veterans have given enough. To donate funds, please send a check, made out to Honor Flight Philadelphia, and mail to, P.O. Box 003, Broomall, PA 19008, or visit the “Donate” page of our website (CLICK HERE).