Your trip with Stars and Stripes Honor Flight will be a long and emotional day. Yet we are confident it will also be a day of exhilaration and renewal. Our past Honor Flight participants have told us that next to their wedding day and the births of their children, their Honor Flight is one of the top highlights of their lives.
To prepare yourself for this trip, please make sure you get plenty of rest and nourishment, especially fluids, during the days leading up to your flight. We will provide you with bottled water throughout the day and will probably hound you to keep drinking it! But rest assured, there will be plenty of available bathrooms throughout the day. Toilet facilities are available for your use at the airport, on our chartered aircraft, in our deluxe motor coach buses that we use throughout our Washington DC travels, and at every memorial. You will never be far from bathroom!
The day starts early. The first groups arrive at General Mitchell International Airport by 4:30am. This early arrival allows time for checking in, meeting up with your guardian for the day, processing through TSA security and enjoying a breakfast and entertainment at the gate before boarding the plane to Washington DC. Once we arrive in DC, you will immediately board our deluxe motor coaches and head toward our first stop in our nation's capitol. We have also made arrangements for a police escort throughout the day so we can whip through that notorious Washington DC traffic!
The highlight of every trip is our visit to the World War II Memorial where you will have ample time to soak in the symbolism and take it its beauty. We typically arrange for a group photo to be taken here.
Besides a visit to the World War II Memorial, every trip includes visits to other memorials but the itineraries may vary. Every trip typically includes a stop at the Marine Corps Iwo Jima Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery. Past Stars and Stripes Honor Flights have included stops at the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, and even the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial. We also try to include a short bus tour of Washington DC on every trip which allows for rest and chance to eat one of your two boxed meals which will be served to you on the bus during your day in DC.
Even if you do not travel with your own wheelchair or request one for your trip, we bring extra wheelchairs with us. We have found that even the most able-bodied veteran may tire by the end of the day. If that is the case, please know that wheelchairs will be available for your use.
After our day in DC, we will board the buses for our trip back to the airport. There will be another security screening for the return flight. Once we land in Milwaukee, your guardian will make sure that you land safely in the arms of your loved ones after your long day. Oh, yes. There may be one or two more surprises on the way home…but we want you to discover those for yourself!