Volunteering

UPDATED JULY 2021 for FALL 2021 SEASON Greeting at DCA Any individual greeting at DCA airport will do so on his or her own volition, not as part of the DCA Honor Flight Ground Crew. The DCA Honor Flight Ground Crew will not be coordinating any volunteer activities at DCA airport for the fall 2021 season. The DCA Ground Crew will post the Honor Flight National schedule on the DCA website so individuals can see arrivals and departures as well as other trip information. Those wishing to greet at DCA will do so outside of security only. There will be no Gate Access Passes issued to greet inside security for this fall 2021 season. Since the DCA Ground Crew will not be tracking volunteers who greet at DCA, we will not be issuing parking vouchers. Please visit DCA’s Parking Information webpage for details on parking availability and rates.
  • American Airline (AA) arrivals and departures: AA arrivals and departures will still be in Terminal C. Due to the progress of airport construction, Honor Flight groups will now be able to exit on Level 1 (Baggage Level) like the olden days. However, groups returning to the airport will still re-enter on Level 3 (Ticketing Level). As always, this is subject to change.

Greeting at the Memorials

Any individual greeting at any one of the memorials that Honor Flight groups visit will do so on his or her own volition. DCA Honor Flight Ground Crew will not be coordinating any volunteer activities at the Memorials for the fall 2021 season. The DCA Ground Crew will post the Honor Flight National schedule on the DCA website so individuals can see trip information. There will be a report summarizing the planned memorial arrival and departures for all Honor Flights regardless of the arrival airport. Please note all times listed are approximate and subject to changes throughout the day.

Serving as a Guardian

The DCA Ground Crew will provide a list of already trained guardians, who indicate that they still want to serve as guardians, to the hubs so the hubs can contact volunteers directly to serve as a guardian. The DCA Ground Crew will not be training, coordinating, or scheduling local guardians or serving as the liaison between hubs and our volunteer base for the fall 2021 season. It will be the hub’s responsibility to certify your vaccination or testing status and you will have to adhere to all the hub’s policies and procedures, which could vary from hub to hub.

Serving as a Tour Guide

The DCA Ground Crew will provide a list of tour guides, who already have been through orientation and who also indicate that they still want to serve as tour guides, to the hubs so the hubs can contact volunteers directly to serve as tour guides. The DCA Ground Crew will not be holding orientations, coordinating, or scheduling local tour guides or serving as the liaison between hubs requesting tour guides and our volunteer base. It will be the hub’s responsibility to certify your vaccination or testing status and you will have to adhere to all the hub’s policies and procedures, which could vary from hub to hub.

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The information is below is relevant to past Honor Flight greeting seasons and used for reference only.  We are so excited that you are interesting in volunteering with Honor Flight. The Honor Flight Network flies veterans from 127 cities, free of charge, to visit their memorials in Washington DC.  The easiest way to volunteer here is to greet our veterans as their flight arrives at the airport or their bus arrives at the WWII memorial. Here’s what you need to know to join us in greeting and individually thanking our Honor Flight Veterans:
  • Where and When to Greet
    • The flight information in our emails and on the this website contains all the information we have on any given flight. Check the Schedule and choose a flight to greet. At the airport, you may greet at the gate or outside of security.
    • To greet AT THE GATE:
      • You will need to request a Gate Access Pass (GAP) at least 48 hours prior to the flight’s Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA). If GAPs are available for a flight, simply click on the “GET YOUR GATE ACCESS PASS (GAP) HERE” link.
      • The day before the flight arrives, specific instructions on how to pick up your GAP and have your airport parking validated will be sent to you at the email address you provided when signing up for the GAP. Instructions may vary by airline. Please note that for some airlines and flights, GAPs will NOT be distributed after 30 minutes prior to the ETA of the flight.
      • For GAP questions, or to request GAPs for a large group, you may contact Jenny at  dcahonorflights.gap@gmail.com
      • You should arrive at the airport at least 60 minutes prior to the ETA to allow yourself enough time to go through TSA security and get to the gate
    • Some flights do not have GAPs available. In these cases, no “GET YOUR GATE ACCESS PASS (GAP) HERE” link is visible in the flight specs. Simply greet the veterans outside of security. You do not have to signup in advance. to greet outside of security.
    • If no GAPs are available, you forget to sign up for GAPs in advance, or you arrive too late to pick up your GAP, please join us in greeting the Veterans ouside  of security! Simply arrive by the flight ETA and stand outside of TSA security. No GAPs are needed to greet outside of security.
      • Check the flight information for the correct terminal.
  • Some Honor “Flights” travel by bus and go directly to the WWII Memorial. These are also included on our schedule. To greet those groups, drive or take the metro to the Memorial and gather with other volunteers outside of the Pacific Theater Pavilion, near the Visitors’ Center and Independence Avenue.
  • How to Greet
    • If you aren’t sure how to greet the Veterans, please check our Facebook page. Just do what the people are doing in the picturessmile, clap, shake hands, give hugs. Or feel free to ask.
  • Reminders
    • Please remember, especially at the airport, that the safety and enjoyment of our Veterans is of utmost importance; we must cooperate with all airport authorities. PLEASE follow all instructions/directions from the Airline, Airport, TSA Employees, and the USO/HFDCA Team Leaders.
    • Keep a wide walkway clear and open for the veterans and guardians to walk.
  • Serving as a Guardian
    • Every Veteran is assigned a Guardian who is their buddy for the day. Most of the time, these Guardians accompany their Veterans from their originating city, but occasionally we get requests for DC-based guardians.
    • All Guardians must go through Guardian Training (https://honorflightdca.com/training/). Our DCA Guardian Coordinator Laura hosts multiple training sessions throughout the season, and is also available for one-on-one trainings should our designated training sessions not fit your schedule.
    • If you are interested in being trained as a Guardian, contact our Guardian Coordinator, Laura, at honorflightguardians@gmail.com
    • Please be sure to let her know if you are in the service of our military, as many hubs specifically request military personnel to accompany them.
We look forward to your joining us in this incredibly heartwarming experience!

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Your questions not answered here? Contact us at  dca.honorflight@gmail.com

23 thoughts on “Volunteering

  1. My Dad was s WWII Veteran and I was a Military Brat that later also married a military man…, I am always interested in helping out our Heros

  2. I am a retired Marine whose lives in Northern Virginia. A friend (also a retired Marine living in Northern Virginia) and I would like to volunteer as escorts while the Honor Flight honorees are in our area. Is there a way to do that?

  3. My grandfather was a wwll vet father nam I’m a vet my self army.would like to volunteer I live in nyc

  4. As the daughter of a WW2 Marine, sister of an Army Paratrooper and wife of a Navy vet, it would be an honor to welcome our Heros home.

  5. Look forward to volunteering with your organization and supporting our vets! An Air Force retiree and empty nester looking for an opportunity to again serve

  6. Look forward to volunteering and supporting our vets! I’m retired Air Force in DC area looking for opportunity to again serve

  7. Would love to volunteer as a greeter..and photographer…..second generation Navy kid.
    What is the parking situation at national these days? Also any advice on wardrobe?
    Thanks

  8. Could you please send me information on being a guardian and floater? I am interested in helping in anyway needed.
    Thank you

  9. Very interested in volunteering! My father and Father-in-law were vets and my husband is still serving. signing up to start greeting!
    Karen Murphy

  10. My son is active duty Navy
    My father(deceased)and father-in -law (living) were WWII vets. My husband and I would be honored to help in any way. We were pleasantly surprised to witness an arrival of a honor flight as we were traveling to our son’s change of command. Would feel previledged to participate.

  11. Would love to get information on buses out of VA to meet the veterans at the bus where they depart to head to DC. I believe I could get together some women motorcycle riders to greet them as they board.

  12. I just participated in my first Honor Flight today by greeting my grandfather (a Korean War vet) and 186 other vets from Mid-Michigan at the gate, and tagged along for the rest of the day as he saw the memorials and Changing of the Guard at Arlington. My husband, also a veteran, and 8 year old son came along, too! It was a great experience.
    I would love to do this again, and would also like to know if I could serve our veterans in any nursing capacity (I’m a Registered Nurse).
    What a wonderful program!!!

  13. I am the leader of a Troop of Girl Scouts, I am also the Service Unit Manager in charge of a group of around 40 troops. I’d like to set it up to bring our Service Unit to one of these days to meet the veterans. It would most likely be a lot of Gurl Scouts. Where can I get information to sign up a big group?

  14. Hi Genie, we would welcome the Scouts! If you click under the navigation panel “volunteer”, you’ll see information about how to sign up a larger group.

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