No. The only spouses who are permitted to go are those who are Veterans themselves.

Those from younger generations who serve as guardians for our oldest Veterans tell us that, after the Honor Flight experience, they have a new and profound appreciation for and understanding of the services and sacrifices of our WWII, Korean and Vietnam War generation. 

This is of great importance to us at Badger Honor Flight, as the legacy of these heroes needs to be carried on by our younger generations. Whether the guardians are the children or grandchildren of the Veteran, or a younger member of our community that has volunteered to serve as a guardian for a Vet they do not know, we need them to carry our Veterans’ stories and experiences to their peers and their children.

In addition, one of the benefits of an Honor Flight day for our Veterans is the opportunity to reconnect with their Veteran brothers and sisters and share stories and experiences. One Veteran told us after his flight, ‘I was worried about not having my wife along as moral support, but now I realize that my Veteran brothers gave me exactly the support I needed because they understand in a way that my wife just can’t. I would have worried about how much I was talking to her and if she was having a good time. My son stood back and let me be with the other Vets, and that was the best thing that could have happened.’ Many other Veterans have echoed these sentiments.

Sadly, the answer is “no.” Again, we simply do not have the resources, funding, or seating available to transport all the Veterans who are presently on our waiting list. Adding spouses and widows simply isn’t an option for our program at this time.

The flight is FREE for our Veterans. Guardians pay $500 for the flight. Veterans and guardians do not need to bring any money unless they wish to purchase souvenirs.

BHF uses a 1:1 Veteran to guardian ratio. We do this to for the safety and accountability of our Veterans. The most important reason is to ensure each Veteran can enjoy their “Trip of a Lifetime” to its fullest. Each Veteran has the opportunity to select a guardian (full list of requirements can be found here) to travel with them to D.C. If the Veteran does not select a guardian, one will be assigned to them in D.C. Each Veteran will be escorted by a guardian for the day, regardless of health status.

We encourage our Veterans to select a family member or friend to escort them around Washington, D.C., however that person must meet all guardian requirements (full list of guardian requirements can be found here). Each guardian will be required to attend a training, and at that time, the BHF Flight Team will have discretion to determine whether (or not) they are fit to serve as a guardian.

Badger Honor Flight gratefully accepts donations from anyone EXCEPT our Veterans. We feel that our Veterans have given enough. This is our way of saying thank you. 

Donation information can be found here.

Veterans are flown on a first-come, first-served basis. We prioritize our waitlist first by terminally-ill Veterans; then by conflict (World War II, then Korea, then Vietnam); and finally, by the date the Veteran’s application was received.

Not to worry – there are Honor Flight hubs in 46 states, so there are other options. Please visit the National Honor Flight website to learn about the hub closest to you. You will also find contact information for each hub so you can apply to their program.

If there is no hub in your area, you may qualify for the Honor Flight Solo program. More details can be found here

You should send your application to the hub nearest to you. More information can
be found on this page: Which hub should I send my application to

Our funding comes primarily from individuals across our service area who recognize the great accomplishments and sacrifices of Veterans and want them to see their memorials before it’s too late. Other significant contributors have been fraternal organizations like local American Legions, VFW posts and chapters, as well as various corporations on a local level.

WHEELCHAIRS — About 30% of the Veterans we have transported over the past three years were in wheelchairs. Our deluxe motor coaches are ordered based upon this fact. All of our coaches are equipped with wheelchair lifts. BHF provides wheelchairs for Veterans on our trips. A member of our volunteer medical team will consult with each Veteran before the flight to ensure we fully understand the Veteran’s specific situation. Even if Veterans do not begin the day in a wheelchair, it is very common to use one at various stops throughout the day.

OXYGEN — If the Veteran requires oxygen, a prescription for the oxygen must be provided by the Veteran’s healthcare provider identifying the delivery method (mask or nasal cannula), frequency (as needed or continuously), and the rate of delivery (2-3 liters per minute). BHF will provide an FAA-approved oxygen concentrator for use during the trip if local oxygen equipment is not available. We also provide oxygen cylinders to be used at the memorials. Again, our volunteer medical team will work with each Veteran to fully understand their specific medical situation.

Our waitlist has nearly 1,100 Veterans, so it may be 2+ years before you are able to travel with us. However, keep in mind that priority is given to WWII, Korean, and terminally ill Veterans. So please notify us immediately with any health changes. About 6-8 weeks before each flight, we will make our flight invitation phone calls, where we reach out to the next Veterans on our waiting list. On that phone call, we will collect updated information from each Veteran and mail them paperwork to fill out in advance of the flight.

Our charter plane departs the MSN airport at approximately 7:00am. 

  • We will ask Veterans to arrive around 4:30am so they can get screened by TSA and all their information (nametags, boarding passes, etc.).
  • We then fly into Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C.
  • Generally, we stop at
    • Arlington National Cemetery
    • The National World War II Memorial
    • The Korean War Memorial
    • The Vietnam Memorial
    • The Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima)
    • Others may be added for an individual flight.

The order of the stops will be posted on our website but is subject to change due to weather, traffic, and other events in the D.C. area.

The flight generally arrives back in Madison around 8:45pm. However it is recommended to check the itinerary to make sure of this. Friends and family are encouraged to join us at the “Welcome Home” that evening in Madison.

YES! Such Veterans go to the top of the list for the next flight as part of our “Their Last Chance” (TLC) Program. If you feel like your Veteran may qualify for this program, please contact us at 608-616-0243 and a member of our volunteer medical team will be in touch.

We have several volunteer opportunities available throughout the year – you can find additional information here


Contact us via phone 608-616-0243 or via email info@badgerhonorflight.org

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