Each guardian on our flights, designated by an orange t-shirt, is given charge over 1 to 3 veterans, depending on the veteran's personal needs. At no time will a veteran be without supervision. The guardians will have gone through two orientations before the trip takes place and will know the rules and procedures to follow.
Approximately 15 of our guardians on each trip are trained medical personnel and are designated by dark blue caps. This includes at least one doctor, nurses,
respiratory therapists, and EMTs. Veteran's needs are evaluated by a medical team before each flight to ensure that they will be cared for properly throughout the trip.
Below are guidelines that veterans need to consider.
1) All Veterans are responsible for their own medications. it is vital that they bring any needed meds on the trip with them.
2) Wheel chairs are provided by HFNC for the entire trip.
3) Those on oxygen will use their own devices until boarding the plane in Denver. HFNC will then provide oxygen until returning to DIA, where the personal devices have been stored.
Our trips begin at the beautiful Emabassy Suites Hotel and Convention Center in Loveland, Colorado. Veterans arrive at 7 a.m.
to register and meet up with their assigned guardians. They are greeted by members of the Colorado Patriot Guard lining the sidewalks with
their flags. The Hotel provides a continental breakfast in the large ballroom and there is a short ceremony before boarding the buses for
the drive to Denver International Airport.
The trip to DIA is in itself one of the featured highlights of the excursion. The motorcade is led by several law enforcement personnel and the Patriot Guard on their Motorcylcles. The highways and overpasses are lined with first responders and members of the public waving and flying flags as the buses pass by. Near the Erie exit of I25 the crowds are traditionaly so great in numbers that it has been dubbed "The Mile Of Smiles". At the Signature Air Flight Services Terminal at DIA we have another short ceremony before the veterans are assisted onto the plane by military personnel from Buckley Air Force Base.
The arrival at BWI airport in Baltimore finds more greetings as the veterans deplane and find their way through the terminal. Even the airport patrons tend to get into the act as they realize who has just arrived. That evening a formal banquet takes place at the Baltimore Hilton Hotel, where we are also spending the night. The dinner culminates with a keynote address from a current or retired military dignitary.
The next morning a breakfast buffet is served beginning at 0600. The buses are then boarded at 0730 for the trip into Washington, D.C.
HFNC tours several memorials throughout the day in both Washington,D.C. and Arlington, VA. The memorials include, in the following order...
1) The World War II Memorial
2) Drive through Arlington Cemetery & Tomb of the Unknowns
3) The U S Air Force Memorial, where a picnic lunch is also served.
4) The Iwo Jima Memorial
5) The Korean War Veterans Memorial
6) The Vietnam War Veterans Memorial
The journey home has the group leaving BWI Airport in Baltimore about 1800 eastern time for the flight back to DIA, arriving at approximately 2030 mountain time. There the buses are loaded for the drive back to the Embassy Suites, arriving at approximately 2200.