DC Airport Support Welcome Site

DC Airport Support Welcome Site

Volunteering Opportunities


We appreciate your willingness of volunteering your time and talents to support our heroes special trips to visit the memorials built in their honor.  This special time of celebration of our veterans will have lasting memories on them for years to come.   Being a volunteer is fun, educational but most importantly – fulfilling as you are helping to give these heroes the welcome many of them never got when they came home from their service time.

Here are some of the ways you can help:

Airport Ground Crew Opportunities

If you’d like to become more involved than just a greeter, each airport has a volunteer Honor Flight ground crew that actively assists the hubs as they make their way from the gate to the buses, and again when they return to the airport and make their way from the buses to the gate. The ground crew is directed by a volunteer Honor Flight Airport Ground Crew coordinator. Typical assistance includes directing the hubs through the terminal as they navigate the turns to the buses, assisting at the elevators and escalators as needed, monitoring bathrooms, loading wheelchairs and luggage on buses, and positioning greeters in a receiving line. Opportunities are available for early-risers for arrivals, some mid-day arrivals or departures, or evening departures. Time commitment is typically 2-4 hours per arrival or departure, depending on the number of flights and number of Veterans on the trip.

For additional information on becoming a volunteer ground crew member, please email the applicable Ground Crew Coordinator below.

DC-based Guardian & Floater Opportunities

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 use DC-based Guardians to accompany Veterans throughout their day here.

Serving as a DC-based Guardian is a rewarding experience and a great responsibility. Guardians are expected to meet the Honor Flight at the airport gate or other DC-based originating point 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, DC-based 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.

Each hub is responsible for obtaining their own guardians.  We offer a basic training orientation for those living in DC wishing to serve as guardians, and then provide the list of trained guardians (those who have attended the training orientation) to our hubs so they can reach out directly to you.

Qualifications of Guardians/Floaters:

  • 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 other
    • 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 meeting location (vehicle, public transportation). If you are wishing to serve as a guardian in your home location, click here to find a hub closest to you < https://www.honorflight.org/hub-by-county/
  • Commit to staying throughout the entirety of the hub’s trip in DC
  • Be able to commit to a date and not have other responsibilities (job, home) that might require a last-minute cancellation
  • Must be attentive to the surroundings and the location and needs of all the Veterans without distraction.

There are three different DC-Guardian opportunities for DC-based guardians.

Guardians serving DCA or BWI – for more information on applying as a Guardian to meet at DCA or BWI (or in some cases a nearly hotel), please email dcacoordinator@honorflight.org. All interested guardians must attend an in-person training orientation session before being allowed to serve.

Guardians serving IAD – the majority of DC-based Guardian requests come from hubs arriving at IAD on a weekday. Guardians will meet at IAD. Free parking is available at IAD for Guardians. Guardians will attend an in-person safety orientation the morning of the flight. For more information on applying as a DC-based guardians serving IAD, please email dcguardians@honorflightchicago.org.

Guardians serving in Maryland or Delaware – do you live closer to the Maryland or Delaware areas? The Capital Region Honor Flight serves Veterans in these areas, and has opportunities for DC-based guardians on upcoming missions. To apply as a DC-based Guardian serving Capital Region Honor Flight, CLICK HERE . For additional information about Capital Region Honor Flight, visit their website at or email capitalregion@honorflight.org.





Active Duty Military Guardian Opportunites

Many hubs enjoy Military Personnel in uniform to serve as guardians or “ride-a-longs” while in DC. Military Guardian/Escort or Floater support is the greatest honor a military member can provide to our fellow Veterans. What a perfect manner in which to thank those veterans who have gone before us for the liberties and freedoms we so enjoy today.

Guardian duty consist of spending the day with an assigned Veteran to ensure their safety and enjoyment of their day of honor. “Ride-a-longs” are not assigned a Veteran, but are encouraged to mingle with all the Veterans throughout the day while touring their Memorials.

Active duty military guardians and “Ride-a-longs” are asked to be in military uniform and will meet the flights at the arriving airport (BWI, DCA or IAD), board the bus to spend the day with the hub and Veterans, and then return to the airport for the departure. It is a magnificent way in which to spend a day! Meals, drinks and parking are typically provided.

Wear the uniform of your choice (seek command approval if in doubt).

If your unit would like to serve in either of these capacities, please contact dcacoordinator@honorflight.org. We will collect your basic information and provide it our hubs so they can reach out directly to you.

DC-based Tour Guides

Volunteer tour guides enhance the Veterans’ experience in DC by providing the history, significance and information about the stops on the trip, as well as pointing out other major DC landmarks along the route. Volunteer Honor Flight tour guides must commit to the entire time the hub is in town; meeting the hub at their arriving airport / hotel through their return to the airport/hotel. Tour guides provide information while the bus is traveling from site to site; tour guides make themselves available at each stop, but a guided tour of the sites is not involved. Many trips are a single-day, but some trips are 2-3 days.

Our Honor Flight tour guides come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, including some professional tour guides who donate their time to Honor Flights. Interested Honor Flight tour guides should have a passion for serving Veterans, comfortable at public speaking, have a basic knowledge of war memorials and other significance memorials and building on a typical Honor Flight route, the ability to engage with an audience, and the ability to take instruction from the hub’s leadership.

All interested volunteer tour guides must complete a ZOOM training before serving on an Honor Flight. DC-based tour guides are typically provided meals, water, and validated parking at the airport. Tour guides can specify which airports they can serve.

For more information about becoming an Honor Flight tour guide please email honorflight.tourguides@gmail.com