There is no catch, we promise. It is our small way of saying thank you for saving the world from tyranny.
Many, if not most, of our veterans will need to use a wheelchair for all or a good portion of the day, and we have enough wheelchairs and support personnel to accommodate every veteran on each flight. We travel through Washington D.C. in luxury buses that have wheelchair lifts available, if needed. We also fly veterans who require the use of oxygen. Any veteran requiring oxygen must submit a prescription from the doctor for oxygen use while on the trip.
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 for it which 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.
You are in good company then since the average age of our WWII is 89.5. On each trip, we have veterans who can’t see, veterans who can’t hear (most), and veterans who can’t walk. Yet after the trip, the veterans almost always tell us that their day with Honor Flight Chicago was by far one of the best days of their lives.
No, we accept applications from veterans in other areas that may not have Honor Flight hubs, or those that prefer to fly from Chicago. All veterans and guardians are responsible for any travel expenses other than the round-trip airfare from Midway to Dulles and back to Midway and ground (charter bus) transportation while in Washington DC.
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.
WWII and Korean War veterans fill out thier appropriate Veteran Application (available here) and either fax or mail the application to the office. Medical forms are then sent to the veteran to complete in the order that the application was received. Once we receive the completed Medical Form, our Flight Team works to invite our veterans to fly for their Day of Honor. Veterans are generally called for a specific flight about 3 to 4 weeks before the flight date.
Yes, we are currently serving our WWII and Korean War veteran population. After we have flown all interested WWII veterans and Korean War veterans, we will begin honoring our Vietnam veterans for their service and sacrifice.
Unfortunately, we cannot have spouses fly with HFC unless that spouse is also a WWII or Korean War veteran. Our priority is to honor those who served our country in its time of need.
Again, unfortunately, we cannot accommodate these requests. Our mission is to serve our veterans, and our resources are devoted solely to this mission.
There is no cost to the veteran for him/her to fly with us. Flights are fully funded through private donations.
Our WWII and Korean War 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 DC, are covered by Honor Flight Chicago. Guardians each pay $599 each for the honor of escorting a WWII or Korean War Hero to Washington DC. There is a reduced rate for our medical team to fly. Flights are funded by donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, schools, military organizations, and other fraternal organizations who wish to be an important part of honoring these heroes and who recognize the urgent need to fly our WWII and Korean War veterans to see their memorial. No funding is received from the government.
GUARDIANS are picked by our Flight Selection Team based on a number of factors. The number of guardians varies depending on the needs of the veterans on that particular flight. Guardians must be at least 18 and no more than 64 years of age and be able to easily lift 100 pounds, since they will be assisting veterans into or out of wheelchairs, up and down stairs, etc. First priority is given to doctors and nurses who dedicate their time and expertise to help make our trips safe, active duty military personnel and HFC volunteers who have provided long-term consistent volunteer service to HFC and serve as our Flight Crew. Guardians pay for their own trip and must attend a mandatory training session.
Important Note: Family members of veterans are invited to apply to be part of our Guardian team. However, we are unable to guarantee they will be invited on the flight. When filling out a Guardian Application, it is important that you indicate on the Guardian Application the name of the veteran you wish to fly with. There are a limited number of spots available for family member Guardians on each flight, so unfortunately not all family members who apply to be Guardians will be able to accompany their veteran on a flight. Also, each veteran is only allowed one guardian.
Veteran and Guardian applications can be found on our website, honorflightchicago.org. Click on the “Get Involved” page. Or, you may call us at 773-227-8387 to request an application be mailed to you.
No. Veteran applications are filled on a first come, first served basis. Donations are always accepted but cannot be earmarked for a specific veteran.
Occasionally, children of our WWII and Korean War veterans sign up their mother or father for a flight as a surprise. When a veteran is subsequently mailed medical forms as part of the application process, he/she is unaware of the “surprise” and the forms are disregarded. In this event, the veteran never has a chance to share in his/her day of honor so it is imperative that the veteran be involved in the application process from the beginning.
Please check our website and Facebook page periodically for flight updates. The general public is always invited to welcome our returning heroes home the evening of the flight. We do not recommend that you join us in the AM since you must have a ticket in order to clear security.
As a veteran, you will receive a shirt from us on flight day that we ask you wear during your day. The only exception to this rule is if a veteran would like to wear his or her uniform instead. Guardians are given a different shirt that they must wear on flight day, during the mandatory guardian training class prior to flight day.
Medications DO NOT need to be in their original containers. Please bring a two-day supply just to be safe.
Every World War II and Korean War veteran in Chicagoland is invited to apply to travel with Honor Flight Chicago to Washington D.C. for their day of honor and remembrance. If you are a World War II or Korean War veteran or know someone who is, please download an application* now.
Step One: Complete the applicable Veteran Application form
Step Two: Submit the completed Veteran Application form
Your day with Honor Flight Chicago will be a long and emotional, yet exhilarating one. To prepare yourself for the big day, be sure to get lots of rest and plenty of nourishment, especially fluids, during the days leading up to your flight.
Trip itineraries vary, but here is an idea of a “typical” Honor Flight day:
You’ll arrive at Midway Airport for check-in at approximately 4:30 a.m. This early arrival allows time for checking in, meeting up with your Guardian for the day, processing through TSA security and enjoying a light breakfast at the gate before boarding the flight. Upon arrival at Washington Dulles Airport, we will board deluxe chartered motor coaches and head toward our first stop.
The highlight of every trip is a visit to the World War II Memorial where you will have ample time to marvel at its beauty and symbolism, explore the site—and simply sit and remember those who were left behind. There are ample opportunities to take pictures to remind you of the visit.
In addition to the WWII Memorial, there are many other locations in the Washington area we would like to visit, but time limits the number we can go to. These vary from trip to trip, but may include some of the following: Air and Space Museum at Chantilly, VA (where the Enola Gay and other WWII aircraft can be seen), Iwo Jima Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, or the Korean and Vietnam Memorials. After visiting the memorials, we will head to the airport for our flight home.
Veterans residing in the area shown on the map below are eligible to apply for an Honor Flight Chicago trip. If the veteran lives outside this area but has family in Chicagoland who will assist them on their flight day, he or she may also be eligible to apply.
Other geographic areas are served by other Honor Flight regional hubs across the U.S. Visit honorflight.org/programs for a complete directory of locations.