Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s). If your concerns are not addressed here, please feel free to call our office at 773 227-VETS (8387).
Our mission at Honor Flight Chicago is to recognize our senior war veterans with an all-expense-paid day of honor in Washington D.C. We are currently recognizing veterans who served during WWII (12/7/1941-12/31/1946), the Korean War (6/25/1951-1/31/1955) and the Vietnam War Era (11/1/1955-5/15/1975).
That service does not have to have been “in country.” If you served, you answered your country’s call to duty. Whether you were a mail clerk, an airplane mechanic, or a front-line soldier, all jobs were important to the overall war effort. We ask you to fly with us in recognition of your part in the war effort. And to honor those who did not return, we have a short ceremony at the WWII Memorial where we all pay tribute to our fallen heroes, whose dreams and aspirations were cut short by the war.
Applications can be found on our website at honorflightchicago.org under “How to apply.” Or, you may call us at 773-227-8387 to request an application be mailed to you. Once filled out, the application can be mailed, emailed or faxed. The information on where to do that is on the application.
Applications are processed in the office and marked with the date they arrive. Because of their age, and the limited number of applications on file, we give priority to our WWII and Korean War veterans. They will have access to an application with more detailed medical questions immediately. Those applications will be reviewed by a medical team in anticipation of an invitation to be honored within the current flight season.
There is a wait list for our Vietnam veterans. Vietnam veterans will be invited in the date order of their original application. We will mail the more detailed medical form when we anticipate inviting a veteran within the calendar year.
The wait is based on the date of your original application. Those who applied the earliest will be the first to be invited. 2019 is the first flight season to include Vietnam veterans. A Vietnam veteran application received today may wait 18-24 months before the next step in the process. At that point we will mail a 7- page detailed medical form to the address provided on your original application.
When you receive a 7-page application it means we anticipate inviting you within the current flight season. You will receive a call 3-4 weeks prior to the actual flight date inviting you for your day of honor.
Honor Flight Chicago currently flies once a month from April through October, most often on a Wednesday.
Our veterans have already given so much through their service to our country. All costs associated with the veteran’s trip, including airfare to and from Washington, D.C., are covered by Honor Flight Chicago. Guardians each pay $624 for the honor of escorting a senior war veteran to Washington, D.C. There is a reduced rate of $298 for our medical team to fly. These rates represent approximately one-half and one-fourth of the full cost for the one day trip to Washington D.C.
Flights are funded by donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, schools, military organizations, and other fraternal organizations that wish to be an important part of honoring these heroes and who recognize the urgent need to fly our WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam era veterans to see their memorials. No funding is received from the government.
No, we accept applications from veterans in other areas that may not have Honor Flight hubs, or those that prefer to fly from Chicago. We ask the family of our veterans to assist in the transportation to and from Midway. Honor Flight Chicago may act as a resource for alternate transportation if there is no family member in the area. Veterans and guardians traveling from outside the Chicagoland area are responsible for any travel expenses to get to Midway.
All applications are screened by a trained medical team to be sure we are aware of any medical challenges. If there are concerns, the team will reach out to the veteran, their family and their doctor to discuss any concerns. If a medical issue arises that effects an invitation, we will put the veteran on medical hold and check on their medical condition in hopes of inviting them at a later date.
WHEELCHAIR: Every veteran who flies with us will have a wheelchair available and most of our veterans will use this chair for some or all of the day. Even veterans who have never sat in a wheelchair before welcome the chance to take a rest during a portion of the day. We recognize that this day of honor is a very long day.
OXYGEN: If a veteran requires oxygen, their health care provider must supply a prescription that identifies the delivery method (mask or nasal cannula), frequency (as needed or continuously), and the rate of delivery (liters per minute). Honor Flight Chicago will provide the veteran with the oxygen concentrator for the flight as well as the bottled oxygen for the day.
Honor Flight Chicago travels with a team of doctors and nurses who are familiar with each veteran’s medical needs as noted on their applications. Currently every veteran is accompanied by a guardian for the day. The guardian can be a family member if the medical team deems it a necessity for the veteran.
Currently, every veteran is assigned a guardian for the day. For every guardian we put on the flight from Chicago, there is one less seat for a deserving veteran so the majority of our guardians are trained volunteers based in the D.C. area that meet the veterans when they land. There are a limited number of seats for guardians from Chicago. Based on the medical needs of the veteran, a family guardian may be approved. To be considered, the family member must submit a guardian application, meet the guidelines on the application, attend a training session and pay the guardian fee of $624.
We fly an average of 100 veterans on each flight. Each flight also includes the doctors and nurses who dedicate their time and expertise to help make our trips safe, the HFC Flight Team that coordinates the day, photographers that chronicle the day, and a limited number of family guardians.
There is a space on the veteran application for requesting a buddy. That buddy must have an application on file. Because we issue invitations based on the date of your application, that buddy must have submitted his/her application at approximately the same time as yours. If they applied significantly later, you can choose to wait until their date comes up so that you can fly together. We do not invite spouses to fly with their veterans unless that spouse is flying as a fellow veteran.
Volunteers are at the heart of everything we do at Honor Flight Chicago and we would be honored to have you join us. Because we work with a senior population, each volunteer must have an application on file. The application is available on our website at honorflightchicago.org and lists some of the volunteering opportunities available. With the information you provide, including your skills and interests, we can work to find a focus for your volunteer work with us.
Honor Flight Chicago would not exist without the generosity of our donors. You can donate directly on our website at honorflightchicago.org. The website suggests several different ways you can donate in support of our mission to honor our senior war veterans. You can also mail your donation to Honor Flight Chicago, 9701 W Higgins #310, Rosemont, IL 60018. Because we are a not-for-profit organization, your donation is tax deductible.