Greeting Veterans

There are two places to greet Veterans when they arrive in DC. Please choose whichever place works best for you – we strongly recommend that you try both!

Greeting at DCA airport

DCA is a convenient airport for many DC-area residents.  We encourage people to bring their families and friends and to greet each flight as the Veterans disembark. This is a very emotional and uplifting experience for all involved and the Veterans are usually so stunned and appreciative.

You can find the schedule of flights arriving at DCA here: https://honorflightdca.com/2022-schedule/. The schedule is updated periodically as new trips are listed.  Check the schedule to look for dates you would like to greet.  A typical greeting takes about 2-3 hours.

Greetings will vary slightly depending on the arriving airline and terminal.  Honor Flight hubs arrive at all three terminals as indicated on the schedule.  Some airlines provide gate passes, allowing greeters to be at the gate when the Veterans first deplane.  If gate passes are available, look for the “Request a Gate Pass” link associated with a particular flight.  If there is no link, then the greetings will occur outside security.  Greeters are encouraged to wear patriotic apparel and bring flags and banners.  See below for additional information on greeting at each Terminal.

Please note: Parking at DCA airport can be extremely difficult, even non-existent on weekends.  Because of this, DCA airport will not be providing parking vouchers for greeters, Ground Crew, DC-based guardians or DC-based tour guides.  

You are welcome to check the airport parking structures and park on your own.

An alternative to parking at DCA is to parking in Crystal City and take the metro (one stop away from DCA airport on Yellow line in the direction of Huntington or Blue line in the direction of Franconia /Springfield).  Parking at a Crystal City garage if free after 4 on weekdays and all weekend. Parking during weekdays is $6.00 an hour for the first two hours or $21 daily.  The first hour is free.

The closest garage to the metro station is located at 1750 Crystal Drive, Arlington VA 22202.  When entering the garage, look for overhead signs pointing to you the 251 18th St Elevators.  Go up to Level S (Shoppes level) and then follow the overhead signs a short walk to the Metro.

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 Honor Flight DCA Ground Crew Terminal Leaders.

Greeting at the Memorial

Can’t make it to the airport?  Another greet place to greet is the WWII Memorial, as most flights do include that stop on their itinerary, including bus trips and flights landing at BWI and IAD.  Please click here https://honorflightdca.com/volunteering/greeting/memorials/ for more information on greeting at the WWII Memorial, and to see dates and times for hubs’ arrival at the WWII Memorial.  There is no need to RSVP to us, just show up.

Some given Saturdays are called “Super Saturdays” as up to 10-14 hubs are in town; creating a wonderful opportunity to greet.

Large Group Greetings

If greeting with a large group, check here https://honorflightdca.com/volunteering/greeting/groups-schools-scouts/

Greeting at BWI or IAD  – live closer to IAD or BWI?  Click here to find out more information on volunteer opportunities at these airports.  https://honorflightdca.com/volunteering/other-dc-area-airports-welcoming-honor-flights/

4 thoughts on “Greeting Veterans

  1. 1. Are there any established groups/orgs through which one can attach and thus get transported/parking accommodated to make this personal commitment happen?

    2. As per above, if one were to organize a group through an organization, such as a church, are there possible accommodations, i.e., parking, that can be arranged on an extended, defined basis?

    Thank you.

    Adrienne Riviere/National Presbyterian Church, DC

  2. I would not forget about greeting at the Korean Memorial which they normally unload by the Lincoln Memorial. greeting there can also be done and check the schedule but it may not be as close to the printer schedule.

  3. I had the Honor and privilege of sponsoring a veteran to escort a WWII veteran from Peoria IL to DCA. It was so rewarding and I am going to volunteer to be a greeter for as many flights as possible. The sacrifices those brave young men and women made for all of us cannot be repaid. In this small way I feel as if I am showing them a debt of gratitude by greeting them upon arrival, shaking their hand and thanking them for their service.

  4. Hi there, we do not work directly with DCA airport and they have their own rules and protocols about parking and transportation. Unfortunately, we cannot help with parking/transportation. However, many groups have coordinated transportation independently!

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