FALL 2014 OPENING EMAIL – HONOR FLIGHT DCA @ REAGAN NATIONAL AIRPORT!

WELCOME to Honor Flight DCA Fall 2014 Flying Season at DCA Reagan National Airport!

Our mission at DCA is to greet, thank, and welcome the incoming World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam veterans when they arrive in DC to visit the Memorials built in their honor. Thank you for your participation. Our greetings mean a lot to the veterans.

The 2014 Fall Schedule has been posted to the HFDCA blog: https://honorflightdca.wordpress.com/schedule
The schedule posted on the blog is the official, current HFDCA schedule. Sometimes flight information may be updated, and that will be communicated via the yahoo group and posted on the blog.

Thank you for sharing the flight notices with your coworkers, family and friends. We always need GREETERS at the airport to give our veterans a robust welcome! As Will Rogers said, “’We can’t all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.” We also need greeters outside the TSA exits and near the elevators, so a Gate Access Pass (GAP) is not required if you stay outside the secured areas.

To go through the TSA security check to greet the veterans at their arrival gate, you must request a “Gate Access Pass” (GAP) at http://www.honorflightgreeter.com, at least 36 hours in advance of a flight to give our volunteers and airlines time to process your request. This is a courtesy the airlines do for us for the benefit of the veterans.

A few general airport and greeting tips:
~Please arrive at least 60 minutes prior to the flights’ scheduled arrival time (called the “ETA” Estimated Time of Arrival). Air travel is contingent upon the weather, and if you are greeting at the gate, you must be processed through TSA along with those who are flying. Screening lines can be long so please be courteous and plan accordingly.
~As the Veterans disembark the plane, the greeters may thank them for their service during the war and even more importantly at home after the war! We welcome them to DC, and/or wish them a happy day during their tour. Just be yourself, and do whatever gesture of welcome you are comfortable giving. Some veterans enjoy hugs, but we should be respectful of their bodies, and please remember, they are elderly and possibly frail, so please be gentle.
~Reasonable sized banners/signs and U.S. flags are allowed (but remember, you will have to hold them while clapping or shaking hands). If you bring a sign, take it back home with you. PLEASE BE CAUTIOUS when holding a flag and hugging a Veteran. Sometimes the stick that the Flag is attached to can get away from you and we don’t want to poke anyone.
~Helium balloons are not permitted to be carried through security.
~Veterans love to see military personnel who come out in uniform to greet them. The greeting line up along the jetway exit in this manner: local World War II Heroes; Active Duty Military; Greeters from all over! There will be USO, Airline or other Honor Flight volunteers (called Marshals) in the gate area to direct you if you are new.
~ DCA does not validate volunteer parking! The parking fees and your mileage may be tax deductible. The Metro yellow line stops at DCA Reagan.

If you work during the day and are primarily available after working hours, Danielle Sturgis leads our departure parties in Terminals A and B. Announcements are on our Facebook group page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/honorflightdca

For Honor Flights arriving via American Airlines and US Airways, please note that GAPs and parking tickets are distributed up to 45 minutes prior to the listed ETA, and not thereafter. Please arrive at least 60 minutes prior to the listed ETA! We are all volunteers, and even the airlines do this outside of their work duties. After the distribution times have passed, there will be NO GATE ACCESS and no parking tickets. Thank you for your compliance.

On days when there are more than one American Airlines or US Airways arrival, such as on Saturdays, you must greet both flights to receive a GAP, and you must arrive at the airport at least 60 minutes prior to the earlier flight ETA.

GAPs are valid for the calendar day, so if you greet a morning flight that same day, keep your GAP for re-entry that evening if you would like to return to see the veterans off.

If you are active duty or reserve military, please check the “Military Personnel” page on the blog: https://honorflightdca.wordpress.com/military. Military Personnel are often requested to ride along and assist the veterans for the full duration of their Tour of Honor in DC. Notices about these opportunities are announced via the yahoo group and blog as well.

Guardians (called Escorts or Floaters) must be physically fit to walk at least 5 miles, carefully push a wheelchair uphill, and lift (with assistance) at least 100 pounds. You MUST keep your veteran within arms’ reach and close visual contact at all times. They are your responsibility for the duration of their stay in Washington DC, and they have been looking forward to this special day for months! We want them to have the best possible day. As a floater or escort, you will:
~Escort the Veteran/Veterans’ group for the entire day, from the time they arrive at DCA until they depart for home from DCA.
~You may be paired with a Veteran in a wheelchair. If you are paired with a veteran, that is your inseparable buddy, and he/she is your responsibility. If the veteran so desires, please keep in touch with him or her after they return home.
~You may be with a Veteran who is walking on his/her own in the morning, but gets tired later on. Please encourage all the veterans to use or keep nearby a wheelchair. Their tour is on average at least a 5 mile walk!
~Escorts may be needed as a `floater’ and not assigned a Veteran at the start of the day. Please be flexible, and follow the instructions of the hub leader or bus leader. Each hub operates their tours differently. By volunteering for the day, you agree to do whatever they tell you. Please be attentive and lend your helping hands for the success of the mission (The mission is giving a great day for our veterans!).
~Lunch is provided to our ride alongs and tour guides. However, you may want to bring extra snacks if you need them. Water is provided.
~ Your complete attention should be on the safety and tour enjoyment of all the veterans.

Full Schedules and Instructions will be posted to:
https://honorflightdca.wordpress.com
Please note that the flight listings mean the veterans are coming FROM that city and landing at DCA Reagan National Airport! I do send notices out for the few bus trips we may have each season.

If you would like information on Honor Flights arriving at BWI and IAD (Dulles), you must contact their volunteers:
BWI Marshall Airport Honor Flights: bwiairport[at]honorflight.org
IAD Dulles Airport Honor Flights: heroeswelcomeiad[at]gmail.com

Please take a look – The blog should explain everything anyone would want to know about DCA Honor Flight.

Volunteer Training sessions will be announced in a separate email.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s