Our “Tour of Honor” would not be possible without the help of Guardians. Guardians are the most privileged of our volunteers because they spend the most quality time with our heroes. Guardians must be at least 18 years old to apply and one generation removed (15 years younger) from the Veteran and physically capable of taking care of the veteran assigned for the entire trip. Persons age 65-69 are eligible to be a Guardian upon medical review from one of our doctors.
Please Note: Family members of veterans are invited to apply to be part of our guardian team. However, we are unable to guarantee space on the trip. When filling out a guardian application, it is important that you indicate the veteran you wish to accompany, that you are related and the which trip you and your family member are interested in going on with our hub (spring or fall). Guardians are selected based on several factors to ensure the safety of all on our veterans on each trip. Each veteran is only allowed, one guardian.
Each Guardian is responsible for one Veteran from the moment they arrive at our departure location until they get in a vehicle to return home. Guardians assist the Veterans with their individual needs to ensure the Veterans have a safe and memorable trip. It is an emotionally fulfilling and rewarding experience to be able to escort our heroes on a trip to visit the memorials built to honor the sacrifices they made for our country.
Guardians are volunteers and are asked to fund their portion of the trip. The total cost to fund each Guardian’s trip is $500.00. The Guardian fee (donation) is required to be paid entirely in advance of each trip. To adequately prepare for the responsibility, guardians are required to complete a brief, but comprehensive training session before the scheduled trip.
WHAT DOES THE $500.00 GUARDIAN DONATION COVER?
Travel by chartered motor coach from Savannah, GA to Washington D.C., Hilton Hotel accommodations for two nights (double occupancy), seven meals, snacks, Honor Flight Savannah shirts, lanyards, liability insurance and other trip specific memorabilia.
IS MY GUARDIAN DONATION TAX DEDUCTIBLE?
Yes. Honor Flight Savannah is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Upon completion of serving as a guardian, you will receive a letter in the mail verifying your donation to Honor Flight Savannah for $500.00 for that Tax year.
WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES AS A GUARDIAN?
Guardians play a significant role on our trips and are responsible for helping to ensure every Veteran has a safe and memorable experience. Duties include: physically assisting the Veterans at our point of departure and return, while traveling on the bus, and at the memorials. You may also remind them to take medications, ensure they are appropriately dressed for the weather and that they stay hydrated throughout the day.
AS A GUARDIAN HOW MANY VETERANS WILL I BE ASSIGNED?
You will be assigned one Veteran for the day. Please note that while you will be assigned a particular Veteran, we ask all Guardians to be available to assist any Veteran at any time.
CAN I MEET MY VETERAN BEFORE THE TRIP?
Yes. You will learn about the Veteran you are assigned to for the trip and have an opportunity to call the Veteran the week before departure to introduce yourself, exchange cell phone numbers. The Veteran may also have questions for you about the forthcoming visit to Washington D.C. You are also free to arrange a meeting in advance of the trip if this is mutually agreeable.
HOW ELSE CAN I HELP MY VETERAN?
Bring a camera and take photos of your veteran and document the trip. While the Veterans are busy taking pictures of the memorials, it is wonderful to have the Guardians taking pictures of the Veteran throughout the journey. Photos that show the Veterans enjoying the sites are the ones most cherished by family and friends.
Engage with the Veterans. You will have the opportunity and privilege of hearing firsthand accounts of the war to end all wars! Ask questions as appropriate and listen. Some of our Veterans have fought in the Battle of the Bulge, survived Pearl Harbor, landed on the beaches of Normandy, stormed Iwo Jima, participated in the first engagement in the Korean War, the Battle of Osan, or proudly endured the Battle of Inchon a decisive battle in Korea and engaged in a multitude of notable and critical battles. The camaraderie of this trip will entice many to tell their stories.
Speak with the spouse in advance of the trip. Many of our Veterans have not been away from their spouses for quite some time. It 's nice to reassure beloved husbands and wives that the Veteran is in very capable hands.
WILL GUARDIANS RECEIVE TRAINING?
Yes. All Guardians must attend a training presentation before the trip. An email is sent out noting the date, time, and location of the guardian training.
CAN A SON, DAUGHTER, FAMILY MEMBER, ETC. GO AS A GUARDIAN?
Yes. Family members are eligible to be Guardians if they are physically capable of assisting the Veteran during the entire trip, at least one generation younger than the Veteran and not the spouse, have completed a Guardian Application and Covenant Not to Sue, and have submitted $500 payment to cover the cost to be a Guardian. Our TOP priority is the safe travel of ALL the Veterans. Our ratio is one Guardian for each Veteran. Being physically qualified means the person can push a wheelchair all day if needed.
HOW ARE YOU FUNDED?
Honor Flight Savannah is part of the national Honor Flight Network (www.honorflight.org). While we, along with the other 100 plus regional hubs, accept the national guidance and utilize their non-financial resources, we operate our program independently and entirely on donated funds from individuals and businesses that recognize the great accomplishments and sacrifices of Veterans and want them to see their memorials before it’s too late. As such, we hope you as an individual or any organization of which you are a member would consider this project worthy of your financial support. To donate funds, please send a check, made out to Honor Flight Savannah, Inc., 1943 Spring Branch Church Road Baxley, GA 31513 or visit the “Donate” page of our website ( I WILL INSERT LINK). Honor Flight Savannah, Inc.is an all-volunteer, 501(c) (3) organization and all contributions are tax-deductible.
CAN I DONATE TO HONOR FLIGHT SAVANNAH?
Honor Flight Savannah gratefully accepts donations from anyone EXCEPT our Veterans, as we believe our Veterans have given enough. To donate funds, please send a check, made out to Honor Flight Savannah, Inc., 1943 Spring Branch Church Road Baxley, GA 31513 or visit the Donate page of our website. Honor Flight Savannah, Inc.is an all-volunteer, 501(c) (3) organization and all contributions are tax-deductible.
CAN I DONATE TO HONOR FLIGHT SAVANNAH WITH AMAZON SMILES?
Yes. By selecting Honor Flight Savannah as the non-profit organization, you would like to support every time you shop on Amazon .05% of every purchase you make will go to help our organization send Veterans to see their memorials. When you visit Amazon, please consider using our custom donation link. At no additional cost to you, it ensures that Honor Flight Savannah receives .05% of every purchase you make. Every little bit helps, especially if you use our link every time!