Honor Flight Columbus 2022 Guardian Update
As we prepare for our 2022 Fall flight season, below is some important information about our Guardian program. Information regarding Guardian requirements and an electronic application form for potential Guardians are available at our website: https://www.honorflightcmh.org/get-involved. We have also included the following link to the guardian application: GUARDIAN APPLICATION.
June 9, 2022 - Mission 115 - HFC Flight Veterans and Guardians at the WWII Memorial
Fall Flight Season
The following flights are scheduled for the Fall of 2022:
September 8 – Mission 116; Sponsored by The David Jarvis Memorial Fund
October 6 – Mission 117; Sponsored by Abbott Laboratories
November 3 – Mission 118; Sponsored by Battelle
November 10 – Mission 119: Sponsored by Nationwide
Group of Guardians & Veterans from June 9, 2022 - Mission 115
Guardian Program Update
Our Guardians have always been the indispensable engine that drives the Honor Flight Columbus program. These dedicated men and women attend a thorough training session and pay their own way on our flights. We use one Guardian for every two veterans and that Guardian’s sole responsibility is the welfare of his/her respective veterans. Over the years we have utilized over two thousand talented Guardians. In 2022, we currently have 477 “active” Guardians. Guardian applicants are deemed “active” when they have file an updated application for a given year and have met all necessary guardian qualifications. Given our number of Guardian applicants and further given the fact that we try to include at least 40% of new Guardians on every flight, we will likely be able to deploy less than half of current active Guardians this fall.
When a Guardian is selected for a flight, he/she is required to attend a training session two weeks in advance of the applicable flight, and to make two deliveries to his/her veterans – shirts prior to the flight and photographs following the flight. In addition, Guardians must pay a fee to help offset their flight costs. For the last five years we have been able to hold our Guardian fee to $400. Costs have risen considerably over those years. Over the last nine months we have seen particularly dramatic increases. Given our current and expected expense profile, we have decided to increase our Guardian fee to $450 for the 2022 Fall flying season and to $500 for 2023.
We recognize the economic burden that this puts on our Guardians. We are working on developing a Guardian Assistance Plan that will provide some need-based support for qualified guardian applicants. We will provide more information on this program at the end of the 2022 flying season.
We will also continue to wave guardian fees for the high school students who attend our flights as Guardians (see section below, reprinted from our 2022 Second Quarter News letter).
June 9 High School Guardians with World War II Veteran, Johnie Colbert
High School Guardian Program As part of our June flight this year we utilized seven local high school students as guardians. These students represented Olentangy Liberty, Gahanna Lincoln, St. Charles, Upper Arlington, Dublin Coffman and Dublin Scioto High Schools. This high school engagement program was exceptionally popular with both the veterans and the students and we have decided to continue this activity as part of our future flights. Any high school interested in participating in this program should contact us at email@example.com. In order to qualify for the program, a school must have an introductory event for students (e.g. a presentation by HFC staff and/or veterans to explain HFC and its mission). All students must be nominated by their respective school and must meet all HFC guardian requirements. Any high school students accepted into this program will fly at no cost. Any school is limited to two students. Please address any questions through the email address noted above.
We look forward to seeing our Veterans, Guardians and Volunteers this Fall. In the meantime, best wishes for an enjoyable August.
Your Honor Flight Columbus Staff
Bob Horner, Executive Director
Beth Johnson, Director, Office Management & Guardian Operations
Megan Jacob, Director, Veterans Operations
Karen Melroy-Oiler, Director, Volunteer Operations