Guardians and Floaters

Every Veteran participating in an Honor Flight is assigned a Guardian for the day. Most often, the Guardian is a family member, friend, or volunteer from the Veteran’s home city who accompanies the Veteran on the plane. Occasionally, however, some Honor Flight hubs request some DC-based Guardians to accompany Veterans throughout their day here.

Serving as a D.C.-based Guardian is a rewarding experience and a great responsibility. Guardians are expected to meet the Honor Flight at the airport gate upon arrival, spend the entire day with their assigned Veteran on the bus and at every stop along the way, and return with the group to the gate for departure. From the moment the Veterans are in our hands until we return them to their loved ones in the evening, Guardians will be asked to treat these heroes as if they are family and ensure that every Veteran has a safe, memorable, and rewarding experience.


Some Honor Flight hubs request volunteers to serve as Floaters. A Floater functions much in the same way as a Guardian; however, he or she is not assigned to one specific Veteran. They help ensure the safety and efficient movement of the group as a whole.  Please be advised that if you volunteer as a Guardian, you might be asked to serve as a Floater instead, depending on the needs of the hub. 

Qualifications of Guardians/Floaters:

  • Complete an in-person training
  • Complete a release and fitness for duty forms, attesting that you:
    • Are physically capable to performing the essential safety function of the Guardian role:
      • Able to push a Veteran in a wheelchair for a minimum of one hour at a time, up to 3-5 total miles per days, including up and down inclines and in all kinds of weather (cold, heat, rain)
      • Assist Veterans up and down bus stairs
      • Assist Veterans getting in/out of seats and wheelchairs
      • Are capable of independent communication with Veterans, Hub staff and others
      • Do not have any limiting physical strength or agility, etc., and do not require use of canes, crutches, walkers, slings, etc.
    • Live in the DC area and have own transportation to airport meeting location (vehicle, public transportation)
    • Commit to staying throughout the day
    • Be able to commit to a date (no last-minute cancellation)
    • Must be attentive to the surroundings and the location and needs of all the Veterans without distraction.

For more information on becoming a trained guardian, please fill up this short form and you will receive additional emails about the next guardian training:  DC Guardian Interest Form



6 thoughts on “Guardians and Floaters

  1. i would like to sign up to be a Floater. When is the next training session?

  2. Thank you Honor Flight!!!!!
    I just returned earlier tonight from escorting my Dad on an Honor Flight from Chicago. I am so stoked, I couldn’t sleep! What a great day and adventure for these veterans who have served their country so unselfishly. I’m ready for a next round. Are the color coded shirts the same, we (the gang) worked out of Dulles today, but DCA would be better logistically? Let me get it washed, today was a hot one (7 SEP 2016). Can my wife and I volunteer on same flight, some time in the future? I understand with a loved one, but would be great if we could do this together W/O kinship, just volunteers. Need to look at a weekend tour, as I can’t be out of office too much, but would love the duty once retired. Thanks for everything you guys do to honer or vets!!!! Thanks again!!

  3. I would love to volunteer as a Guardian, however I’m 68! Please consider opening up this opportunity to honor our veterans to my age group.

  4. Hi Bridgette, we will not be hosting training for the 2021 season, but hope to be back for spring! Keep checking the schedule regularly for more opportunities and sign up for our newsletter if you have not already.

  5. Hi, just learned of your wonderful services in honoring our hero’s. My name is Julie Sherman. I grew up a military Brat, married a retired military man once, was honored to return a POW bracelet to it’s rightful owner in 1973 at Vandenberg AFB Ca and have been a Nurse for 29.5 years. I have ACLS training and have taught CPR in the past. (Do I sound like I’m begging, lol) I would love to volunteer in some capacity with honor flight if you ever have the need. I have just moved to Orlando florida if the need arises near there. I found out about your services from my sister in law as she is currently on a honor flight. Thank you for what you do. Sincerely, Julie

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