FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Nothing in life is free. What’s the catch?
There is no catch, we promise. As a nation, it took us almost 60 years to build a memorial to your service and sacrifice during WWII. The least that we can do is to bring you to Washington DC to see the memorial that was built in your honor. It is our small way of saying thank you for saving the world from tyranny.
Q: Will health issues prevent a veteran from flying?
Many, if not most, of our veterans will need to use a wheelchair for all or a good portion of the day, and we have enough wheelchairs and support personnel to accommodate every veteran on each flight. We travel through Washington D.C. in luxury buses that have wheelchair lifts available, if needed. We also fly veterans who require the use of oxygen. Any veteran requiring oxygen must submit a prescription from the doctor for oxygen use while on the trip.
Q: What if I require a wheelchair or oxygen?
WHEELCHAIR - Every veteran who flies with us will have a wheelchair available and most of our veterans will use this chair for some or all of the day. Even veterans who have never sat in a wheelchair before welcome the chance to take a rest during a portion of the day. We recognize that this day of honor is a very long day.
OXYGEN – If a veteran requires oxygen, their health care provider must supply a prescription for it which identifies the delivery method (mask or nasal cannula), frequency (as needed or continuously), and the rate of delivery (liters per minute). We will also assist is acquiring an oxygen concentrator for the flight as well as the bottled oxygen for the day.
Q: I really wanted to go but now I am just too old.
You are in good company then since the average age of our WWII veteran is 91. On each trip, we have veterans who can’t see well, veterans who can’t hear well, and veterans who can’t walk. Yet after the trip, the veterans almost always tell us that their Honor Flight was by far one of the best days of their lives.
Q: Do I have to live in Naples or Fort Myers to fly with Collier County Honor Flight?
No, we accept applications from veterans in other areas that may not have Honor Flight hubs, or those that prefer to fly from Fort Myers. All veterans and guardians are responsible for any travel expenses to get to Fort Myers on flight day.
Q: I am not a WWII hero; those guys paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms and are not with us today.
If you served, you answered your country’s call to duty. Whether you were a mail clerk, an airplane mechanic, or a front line soldier, all jobs were important to the overall war effort. We ask you to fly with us in recognition of your part in the war effort. And to honor those who did not return, we have a short ceremony at the WWII Memorial where we all pay tribute to our fallen heroes, whose dreams and aspirations were cut short by the war.
Q: How is someone selected to go on a flight?
WWII Veterans fill out a Veteran Application and mail or e-mail the application to us. Once we receive the completed application, our Flight Team works to invite our veterans to fly for their Day of Honor. Veterans are generally called for a specific flight about 3 to 4 weeks before the flight date.
Q: Are Korean War veterans and Vietnam veterans allowed to fly now too?
Yes, but please be patient. We are currently focusing on serving our WWII population. After we have flown all interested WWII veterans, we will begin honoring our Korean War veterans (so get your applications in now!). We will then honor our Vietnam veterans for their service and sacrifice.
Q: I’d like to have my spouse accompany me. Can she/he fly with me?
Unfortunately, we cannot have spouses fly with CCHF unless that spouse is also a WWII veteran. Our priority is to honor those who served our country in its time of need.
Q: My mom was recently widowed. She did not serve in the military, but my dad did. Can she fly with Honor Flight to honor him?
Again, unfortunately, we cannot accommodate these requests. Our mission is to serve our veterans, and our resources are devoted solely to this mission.
Q: Will my dad/mom have to pay for anything?
There is no cost to the veteran for him/her to fly with us. Flights are fully funded through private donations.
Q: How much does it cost? Who pays for the trip?
Our WWII veterans have already given so much through their service to our country. All costs associated with the veteran’s trip, including airfare to and from Washington DC, are covered by Collier County Honor Flight. Our Guardians each pay $400 for the honor of escorting a WWII Hero to Washington DC. Flights are funded by donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, schools, military organizations, and other fraternal organizations who wish to be an important part of honoring these heroes and who recognize the urgent need to fly our WWII veterans to see their memorial. No funding is received from the government.
Q: Can another family member fly with my mom/dad as an escort or “Guardian”?
GUARDIANS are picked by our Flight Selection Team based on a number of factors. The number of guardians varies depending on the needs of the veterans on that particular flight. Guardians must be at least 18 and no more than 70 years of age and be able to easily lift 100 pounds, since they will be assisting veterans into or out of wheelchairs, up and down stairs, etc. First priority is given to doctors and nurses who dedicate their time and expertise to help make our trips safe, active duty military personnel and HFC volunteers who have provided long-term consistent volunteer service to HFC and serve as our Flight Crew. Guardians pay for their own trip and must attend a mandatory training session.
Important Note: Family members of veterans are invited to apply to be part of our Guardian team. However, we are unable to guarantee they will be invited on the flight. When filling out a Guardian Application, it is important that you indicate on the Guardian Application the name of the veteran you wish to fly with. There are a limited number of spots available for family member Guardians on each flight, so unfortunately not all family members who apply to be Guardians will be able to accompany their veteran on a flight. Also, each veteran is only allowed one guardian.
Q: How do I get an application?
Veteran and Guardian applications can be found on this website. Or, you may call us at 239-777-9295 to request an application be mailed to you.
Q: Can an individual or an organization sponsor a specific veteran? Can I give the trip as a gift/surprise to a veteran?
No. Veteran applications are filled on a first come, first served basis. Donations are always accepted but cannot be earmarked for a specific veteran.
Occasionally, children of our WWII Veterans sign up their mother or father for a flight as a surprise. When a Veteran is subsequently mailed medical forms as part of the application process, he/she is unaware of the “surprise” and the forms are disregarded. In this event, the Veteran never has a chance to share in his/her day of honor so it is imperative that the veteran be involved in the application process from the beginning.
Q: How can I find out information on upcoming flights and the Homecoming?
Please check our website and Facebook page periodically for flight updates. The general public is always invited to welcome our returning heroes home the evening of the flight.
Q: What do I wear the day of the flight?
As a veteran, you will receive a shirt from us that we ask you wear during your Honor Flight. The only exception to this rule is if a veteran would like to wear his or her uniform instead. Guardians are given a different shirt that they must wear on flight day.
Q: What if I need to bring medication on the flight?
Medications DO NOT need to be in their original containers. Please bring a two-day supply just to be safe.