August is the month when the long-awaited Honor Flights are returning! The Honor Flight Network has been on hold for the last 16-months and will resume flights on August 16th transporting veterans to the Washington DC area.
Honor Flights are flights provided to veterans located around the United States to fly to Washington D.C. to tour the war memorials. The program was placed on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year. The 125 chapters of the Honor Flight Network held a virtual meeting in June to review the current guidelines and updates and made the call to restart flights in August.
As part of the new protocols, all veterans, their guardians, and volunteers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before the flight departs in addition to completing a symptom survey to ensure they had not experienced any COVID-19 symptoms prior to travel. These guidelines are in place as many of the veterans traveling are often terminally ill and nursing home residents and wanted to ensure their health and safety as part of the program.
Honor Flight Network has resumed accepting applications for the Lone Eagle Honor Flight program and TLC (Their Last Chance) flights. The Lone Eagle Honor Flight program is for veterans who live outside a 120-mile radius from an existing regional Honor Flight Hub, and allows for veterans and their guardians to be flown via a Lone Eagle Honor Flight. There are regional hubs in 44 states, with no regional hubs in Arkansas, Montana, Idaho, Mississippi, and Hawaii. The TLC flights are reserved for a veteran whose terminal condition that per their personal physician has given them 12 months or less to live. The veteran does not pay for anything, except perhaps souvenirs if they desire, as all costs are covered by the generosity of donations.
Applications are being accepted now with top priority given to World War II and terminally ill veterans. If a veteran was scheduled for a flight in 2020, those flights are being rescheduled and the veteran or their guardian would be contacted directly.
The Honor Flight Network provides an amazing service and we are so glad they are able to safely return to operation.