Issuu on Google+

2013 Volume 4 • Issue 1

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF FISHER HOUSE FOUNDATION, INC. TM

VOICES of

KINDNESS The Making of Fisher House Foundation’s Newest PSA

www.fisherhouse.org

special thanks Support from a Former President

Easter wishes Fisher House Welcomes Mrs. Obama

dedicating two more houses Pittsburgh and San Antonio


About Fisher House Foundation, Inc. The Fisher House program is a unique private-public partnership that supports America’s military families in their time of need. The program recognizes the special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Because members of the military and their families are stationed worldwide and must often travel great distances for specialized medical care, Fisher House Foundation builds and donates “comfort homes,” on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times—during hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury. There is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center to assist families in need and to ensure that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment. Annually, the Fisher House program serves 19,000 families, and has made available over 4.7 million days of lodging to over 180,000 families since the program originated in 1990. By law, there is no charge for any family to stay at a Fisher House operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs; Fisher House Foundation uses donations to reimburse the individual Fisher Houses operated by the Army, Navy and Air Force. No family pays to stay at any Fisher House! In addition to constructing new houses, Fisher House Foundation continues to support existing Fisher Houses and help individual military families in need. The Foundation is also proud to administer and sponsor Scholarships for Military Children, Heroes’ Legacy

Scholarship, the Hero Miles program, the Hotels for Heroes program, Team Fisher House, and co-sponsor the Newman’s Own Awards program and the Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarship Program. By contributing to Fisher House Foundation or any individual Fisher House facility, you can make a difference in the lives of America’s service members, retirees, veterans and their families when they need help the most. Fisher House Foundation and individual Fisher Houses depend on public donations to continue our important work. If you designate your contribution for a specific purpose or Fisher House, 100 percent of your donation will be allocated for that purpose. Once constructed, each Fisher House is given to the U.S. government as a gift. Military service secretaries and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the homes. Fisher House Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code, builds new houses, assists in coordinating private support and encourages public support for the homes. Donations to Fisher House Foundation and/or individual Fisher House facilities are tax-deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law. Fisher House Foundation has earned the highest rating (four stars) from Charity Navigator, an independent nonprofit evaluator. Fisher House Foundation has also received an A+ rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy.

Social Media Support

2

Hotels for Heroes

3

Guest Family­Profile— Elaine Tomlin & Sharon Reavis

4

Support From a Former President 5 Travis AFB Fisher House’s “Cookie Lady”

6

Behind the Design/Charity Ratings

7

Hero Miles & Man’s Best Friend

8

Stories for Support

10

Easter Wishes from the White House

11

The Kids’ Inaugural: Our Children, Our Future

12

Preserving Generations of Stories

14

Voices of Kindness

16

Supporting their Son

18

Team Fisher House

20

Dedicating Two New Fisher Houses: Pittsburgh and San Antonio

21

Radio Round-Up

22

House Round-Up

23

Future Fisher Houses in Action

30

Down Range

32

Fisher House Directory

33

Fisher House Foundation The patriot Chairman and CEO Ken Fisher Editor Cindy Campbell ASSOCIATE Editor Ashley Estill layout and art direction ds+f www.dsfriends.com Address all correspondence to: The Patriot Fisher House Foundation 111 Rockville Pike Suite 420 Rockville, Maryland 20850 Phone: 301 294 8560 Fax: 301 294 8562 Email: info@fisherhouse.org www.fisherhouse.org


Letter from Ken Fisher Fisher House Foundation by the

Numbers

$200 Million Savings for Families in Lodging and Transportation Cost

4.7 Million Days of Lodging Offered

Dear Friends, We have just reached the milestone of dedicating Fisher House number 60. You see it pictured on the cover, a beautiful house to support families receiving care at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio, TX.  I am tempted to pause and reflect over all that has been accomplished…but there is much more that remains for us to do.  The construction of these special homes will always be Kenneth Fisher at the heart of what Fisher House Foundation does. We have made a solemn commitment to provide comfort and support for our military families and see them through their personal medical crisis whenever possible. To do that, we need to continue investing in communities across the country — building Fisher Houses where they are needed the most. Towards that end, progress continues on a second Fisher House in support of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, TX; bringing houses to the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in Murfreesboro, TN; the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI; and the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System in Gainesville, FL. We’re beginning the coordination process to build houses at Travis Air Force Base, CA; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA; and Fort Bragg, NC.  Many of you have heard me say that I look forward to the day when every need is fulfilled and our services are no longer needed; however our enduring commitment — and our duty to serve those who are wounded, ill, or injured in service to our country is needed for the foreseeable future. Thank you for providing the resources and support that have enabled us to reach this milestone and complete the task at hand. 

180 Thousand

With heartfelt gratitude,

Families Served Kenneth Fisher  Chairman & CEO, Fisher House Foundation

The statistics in this graphic are calculated since Fisher House Foundation inception.

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

1


Social Media Support

Facebook Feedback www.facebook.com/FisherHouse “In the most horrible circumstances, the Fisher House and all the people there were so amazing. I will never forget how nice they were to me and my family members.” —Stephanie M. “The folks at the Denver house have always been there and gone far out of their way for my family and I. We appreciate everything they do for the disabled vets, making it a home away from home, and not a stark motel room. Thank you!” — David M.

Ken Fisher @KenFisherFHF In 2012 we provided a “home away from home” to over 19,000 families. We are looking forward to helping even more in 2013!

“I just read about the Hero Miles program through Fisher House. What an awesome way to help families with the surprise airfare costs associated with wounded family service members. Keep up the awesome work Fisher House!”

215OnTheRAQs @Raquelmjackson We never want to leave the Fisher House @fisherhousefdtn @Fisher House VA Family Residence

— Kimberly Z. “There are very few proper words to describe the value you provide to families of those who have served our country valiantly and with honor in their time of need as they cope with supporting their family members.” — Gary K.

“I was at lunch with my sister who was discussing that Fisher House was a charity that she supports. A female veteran who overheard our discussion, walked over to our table and with tears in her eyes, proceeded to tell us how your organization was a lifesaver for her when she returned injured from overseas. She could not stop singing your praises! Thank you!” — Kathy C.

2

Twitter Love www.twitter.com/FisherHouseFdtn

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

Allie Carnes @dissuade The Hines Fisher House was the most helpful organization to me while my dad was sick. Wonderful people. http://www.hines.va.gov/fisherhouse/


Hotels for Heroes Fisher House’s newest program has already provided over 1,300 nights of lodging, a savings of over $180,000 to nearly 300 families. Story by Bruce Phillips Hotels for Heroes is a program that has allowed Fisher House Foundation to extend the reach and impact of our mission by providing lodging support in circumstances where there is no Fisher House available. Rooms are made possible through the donation of rewards points by generous Americans. Participating hotels include AmericInn, Best Western, Choice Hotels, LaQuinta Inns and Suites, Marriott Rewards, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and Wyndham. Each of our hotel partners have shared their amazement at how quickly their rewards members have responded to the opportunity to donate their points in support of our military families. Recently, a service member shared her gratitude for the Hotels for Heroes program:

“To my Fisher House angels: This time you were there for me to help fly my aunt to Georgia and provide a hotel for us. It meant the world to me to have my aunt here while I had brain surgery, especially since she is my closest relative. Without her, I would have struggled in dealing with the stress of procedures and the recovery process. Providing a hotel room for us took a large burden off me. While I was in the hospital, my aunt had a comforting place to relax and rest, rather than having to remain in the hospital room. Without your help we would have been lost. I’ll never forget your assistance during this difficult time.” Thank you to our many Hotels for Heroes partners for allowing us to serve our military. For details on how to donate your hotel points, visit www.fisherhouse.org and click on the programs tab.

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

3


guest family profile

Elaine Tomlin & Sharon Reavis

Story and photos by Ashley Estill House: VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System — Pittsburgh, PA

The Fisher House offered Elaine comforts of home including a spacious kitchen, laundry room, family, living and dining rooms, while also providing her a private bedroom to rejuvenate after a day at the hospital.

Home State: Pennsylvania Military Branch: Air Force

Elaine Tomlin was walking on the track in her hometown of Philadelphia when she called her sister, Air Force veteran Sharon Reavis, like she does every single morning. Sharon was in the hospital for a kidney transplant, and Elaine knew something was wrong when Sharon’s daughter answered the phone.

Elaine Tomlin checks into her new home and visits with Ken Fisher in the kitchen.

“In a matter of an hour the social worker took me to the Fisher House. It happened so fast, this was just incredible,” Elaine said. “It allowed me to be with my sister every day. I just walked through the parking lot and I was at the hospital.” Every day for over a month Elaine was there for her sister as she continued to heal. She didn’t have to worry about anything except for her sister — offering Elaine this “home away from home” lifted the stress and allowed Elaine to focus on family.

4

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

In addition to having the support of Fisher House, Elaine also felt comfort from the other families staying within the Fisher House walls. “The families would interact with each other in the kitchen before we all went over to the hospital,” Elaine said. “Making breakfast or tea in the morning we’d ask how their loved ones were doing and said a prayer for each other.”

Following Sharon’s kidney transplant, some complications arose which sent Sharon to the ICU and Elaine directly to Pittsburgh. When Elaine arrived, she didn’t know where she would stay. It just so happened that when Elaine got to the hospital, the Foundation was dedicating the new 10-suite Fisher House at the Pittsburgh VA. Overlooking the city of Pittsburgh, the spacious comfort home became Elaine’s new home.

“I just felt so at ease when I got back to the Fisher House after a day at the hospital,” Elaine said. “It was nice to get back into a routine and lay my head down each night on my fluffy pillows.”

“In a matter of an hour the social worker took me to the Fisher House. It happened so fast, this was just incredible.” “Elaine and Sharon are a great example of the families we help,” said Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation. “It’s not enough to thank our veterans for their service. We have to show them how much we appreciate the sacrifices the entire family makes.”

Elaine’s sister eventually became stable enough to transfer to the VA in Philadelphia, allowing her to be close to even more family. She is still receiving dialysis and physical and occupational therapy, but doing much better. Although Elaine moved out of her temporary home in Pittsburgh, she has nothing but wonderful things to say about the Fisher House from the moment she walked through the doors. “When I was at the hospital, you just saw so many families sleeping in the family room and to have this house available was really incredible. It was such a help,” Elaine said. “For Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher to think of something like this, I said, ‘Wow, what great people.’ Everything was just so nice.”


Support from a Former President

Special thanks are in order

for President George W. Bush, who donated his 2009 Ford F-150 King Ranch 4x4 SuperCrew Pickup Truck to benefit Fisher House Foundation. In January, the former President donated his truck, used exclusively on the Bush’s Crawford, Texas ranch, to the Barrett Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. With special auctioneer Jay Leno, President Bush’s truck raised $300,000 for the Foundation. The truck driven and signed by the 43rd President of the United States was sold to NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick.

Photos Courtesy of the Bush Library

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

5


Travis AFB Fisher House’s

“Cookie Lady”

Liz Tillson is known as the “Cookie Lady” at the Travis Air Force Base Fisher House. Years ago, before the Fisher House program began, Liz and her husband Don had a family member who was seriously ill. They traveled to be near their loved one and provide moral support. Liz and Don stayed in a hotel since there wasn’t anything like the Fisher House for them. Shortly after their experience, Liz learned about the plans to build a Fisher House at Travis AFB and knew how much it would mean to families that did not live nearby, but wanted to support their loved one while they were being treated for a serious medical condition. Liz began volunteering at the Fisher House before it was even open. Since the Fisher House has opened, Liz bakes her trademark chocolate chip cookies for all the guests. She makes the dough at home and then comes to the Travis Fisher House after work and bakes the cookies. The aroma of the cookies baking draws the guests to the kitchen, and then Liz visits with them and listens to their stories. She gets close to many of the families and helps them in any way she can. In fact, Liz still keeps in touch with a family who were guests in 1998. They meet up periodically, and she even attended one of their children’s wedding. The Fisher House program is lucky enough to have two notable “Cookie Ladies.” Check out the history of Wright-Patterson AFB's Fisher House “Cookie Lady” on page 27.

6

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013


Behind the Design

Team at ds+f provides priceless creative support to Fisher House

Story by Don Schaaf, President, Don Schaaf & Friends, Inc. Nearly 10 years ago during my morning commute, I learned about Fisher House Foundation while listening to the radio. Local station WMAL was doing a December holiday fundraising drive for Fisher House and it immediately inspired me. I phoned in a pledge and emailed Fisher House to offer the services of my talented design team at my Washington, DC-based advertising agency, ds+f. This began a partnership that has seen the Fisher House brand evolve from a photocopied, two-page overview handout to advertisements, collateral materials and publications like the one you are reading now. As the “unofficial brand consultant” for Fisher House Foundation, ds+f has proudly helped create branding tools and materials for programs, including Hero Miles, Hotels for Heroes, Team Fisher House, the Fisher House Golf Classic, and the Patriot Magazine, as well as the design of countless public service advertisements, brochures, annual reports, hero coins, posters and more. The relationship has been as rewarding as the work has been awarded, garnering more than two dozen advertising industry accolades to date. From art directing photo shoots at houses around the country to press inspecting publications to writing brochures, advertisements, taglines and more, the ds+f team has served Fisher House pro bono — donating more than one million dollars worth of creative and consulting services to the cause so far.

From left to right: Jeff Smith, Brett Fullam, Ben Caulk, Rebecca Perez, Matt Schaaf, Carolyn Davidson, Don Schaaf, Aaron Hansen, Pete Gibb, Mike Raso, James Anthony, Ami Barker, Thema Wilson, and Sevi the office mascot.

My team and I couldn’t do any of this without the support of our regular, paying clients. They’re the real heroes here; they allow us the time and resources to provide support to such a worthy organization. Until there’s no longer a need for this wonderful organization, we’re here to give back by serving Fisher House in the best way we know how.

Charity Ratings

www.dsfriends.com

Fisher House Foundation works hard to be a good steward of the resources entrusted to us. It is a privilege to do the work we do, and we are proud to be in good standing with top charity watch dog organizations. Fisher House Foundation has received an A+ from the American Institute of Philanthropy in their “Veterans and Military” category. Out of 46 charities rated, Fisher House Foundation is one of two charities to receive their A+ rating. Charity Navigator just awarded the Foundation their coveted 4-star rating for sound fiscal management for the ninth consecutive year, a rating achieved by only one percent of the charities they monitor.

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

7


clockwise from bottom left: Kazan outside the AK9I Headquarters and Training Center in Virginia awaiting Jason’s arrival. Jason and Kazan united in Virginia. Kazan visiting the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C.

&

Hero Miles Man’s Best Friend

Story by Ashley Estill Photos Courtesy of Jason Yette

T

he healing process for a wounded, injured, or ill service member is not black and white. Sometimes their path to recovery is the proverbial road less traveled, but that path is what they need to recover.

Fisher House Foundation’s Hero Miles program helps to ease the burden for those on their way to becoming healthy again. When met with different scenarios, Hero Miles is there to support those who support this great nation.

Army verteran Jason Yette, a college student, was struggling with PTSD when Hero Miles stepped in to assist. “I was looking into other avenues to help me with my symptoms,” Jason explained. “I looked into a service dog because I knew he would take care of all the things I’ve been dealing with since being back.”

8

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

Director of Hero Programs, Tish Stropes, knew the Foundation would be able to support Jason.

“In Jason’s case we spoke with his case worker at the VA and the American K-9 Interdiction, who donated the service dog to Jason,” Tish said. “Kazan [the service dog] would help Jason in his continued healing process. For Hero Miles, the request was an easy decision.” While Jason calls Washington home, his new buddy, a three-year-old Belgian Malinois service dog, Kazan, was waiting for Jason in Virginia. Jason decided he would fly to Virginia to meet the dog he had heard so much about. “They kept training Kazan until I got him and throughout they sent me pictures of him, his medical records and videos of him playing. I got everything before I went down there,” Jason continued. “I felt


This January, Hero Miles flew triple amputee British Marine, Mark Ormrod, to the Hanger Prosthetic Center to have a new arm built. On Christmas Eve 2007, Mark was serving side by side with American soldiers and was injured in Op Herrick 7, becoming the first British triple amputee. After some years, the time had come to have a new arm built and as Mark is now a veteran, there was no government funding available in the UK for him to travel and receive treatment. Help for Heroes funded his expenses at Hanger and Hero Miles was able to get Mark to Oklahoma for his extended stay. 

Kazan in front of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

like I got to bond with him before I met him, and once Kazan and I met, we bonded overnight.” Kazan is Jason’s first dog, but Jason was well prepared, having done plenty of research on dog psychology and knowing exactly what Kazan would need. He needs plenty of attention and exercise every day, which has helped Jason develop a routine and get out of the house. “Kazan has helped me feel comfortable around being in public, eating and dealing with a lot of the symptoms of PTSD. Things like that are greatly alleviated thanks to him.” Jason is currently working on a double major in political science and sociology. Kazan will be at his side throughout his studies. “Being able to get a flight to get Kazan meant everything to me. I am just so thankful for everything Fisher House and Hero Miles did for me. Kazan has changed my life, he’s such a blessing in a million ways.” To donate miles or find out more about our Hero Miles program, please visit: www.fisherhouse.org/programs/hero-miles

In honor of our service members, Delta donated $350,000 to Fisher House Foundation to assist military families. The gift was made possible in part from the Delta Sky Club, which donated a portion of proceeds from new memberships one month to support service members and their families receiving treatment at military medical centers throughout the U.S. More than 10,000 Delta employees have served or are currently serving our country.

Fisher House Foundation’s Hero Miles program uses donated frequent flyer miles to provide flights for our wounded, injured and ill service members and their families. Hero Miles also has the privilege of assisting with flights for events to help our wounded warriors rehabilitate. Hero Miles provided airline tickets to Operation

Surf 2012, an event where British and American service personnel took part in a six-day surfing program. Sharing these experiences with others from around the globe made the trip that much better. As one of the participants stated, “We fight together, we play together.”

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

9


Stories for Support A list of books that support Fisher House Foundation There’s nothing better than a good book…until now. Feel even better about your favorite hobby when the next book you read helps support military families at Fisher House Foundation. An ever growing group of authors have penned books whose proceeds help support Fisher House. Most recently CNN Anchor Jake Tapper penned, The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor and is sending a portion of proceeds to various charities, including Fisher House. Kristan Higgins, a New York Times® Bestselling Author of The Best Man, is donating a portion of sales to Fisher House since the hero in her novel is a veteran. We thank all our authors, past and present for remembering Fisher House during your success.

The Long Road Home, 2005, by G.B. Trudeau The War Within, 2006, by G.B. Trudeau The Sandbox, 2007, by G.B. Trudeau Faces of Freedom, 2007, by Rebecca Pepin Breathing the Fire, 2008, by Kimberly Dozier Signature Wound: Rocking TBI, 2010, by G.B. Trudeau Of Thee I Sing, 2010, by President Barack Obama The Outpost, 2012, by Jake Tapper The Best Man, 2013, by Kristan Higgins

Zynga’s Support of Fisher House

e m Ga n! O

10

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

If you’re familiar with popular games like FarmVille, Draw Something, Mafia Wars and Words with Friends, chances are you’ve heard of Zynga, the world’s leading provider of social game services. The company that started in 2007 has now supported Fisher House during several campaigns featuring popular games FarmVille and Mafia Wars. During the most recent campaign, Zynga offered Mafia Wars players virtual items, with proceeds benefiting Fisher House Foundation. Thank you Zynga for offering your players the chance to help support our service men and women and their families.


Easter Wishes from the White House The First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Michelle Obama, joined wounded warrior families at the Walter Reed Fisher Houses on March 20 for an early Easter celebration. Mrs. Obama was introduced by Crystal Fisher, representing Fisher House Foundation. Mrs. Obama joined the children and their families for a crafting project and stopped by each table to say hello. Also joining the party was the First Dog, Bo Obama. Before departing, Mrs. Obama distributed presents — White House cookies and tickets to the White House Easter Egg Roll. Thank you to the First Lady for supporting the Fisher House.

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

11


inaugural: kids’ The

Our Children, Our Future

Photo by Sgt. Justin A. Naylor

12

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

Fisher House families were treated to a very Washingtonian celebration this past January, joining in the Inaugural festivities. Michelle Obama and Jill Biden invited families to attend the Kids Inaugural: Our Children, Our Future concert at the Washington Convention Center. Hosted by Nick Cannon, the concert featured artists including Katy Perry, Usher, the cast members of “Glee,” Far East Movement and Mindless Behavior. The concert was held in support of Joining Forces, the initiative launched by Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden to support service members and their families. Thank you to the First Lady for thinking about our Fisher House families.


Concert Photos by Gillian Gonzalez

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

13


Preserving Generations of Stories Story and photos by Ashley Estill

Imagine if the stories you tell your children could last forever. Tales of adventures, struggles and happier times could continue to be passed down from generation to generation. Enter StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives.

14

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

During the StoryCorps “Military Voices” Initiative, members from StoryCorps visited Fisher Houses at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio, Texas to record stories of veterans, active duty troops and military families. Each interview is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. An oral history project, StoryCorps has archived more than 40,000 interviews since 2003. Our military


families agreed to share their stories to be preserved forever. StoryCorps founder, Dave Isay, put it best when he said, “The Military Voices Initiative not only provides military families with a national platform to share their stories of service in their own voices, but will also enable civilians to understand more clearly the complex challenges of their bravery and sacrifice. As veterans return to civilian life from Afghanistan and Iraq, we believe that the simple act of listening tells them how much they matter, and by preserving that conversation for posterity, we assure them that they won’t be forgotten.” Although the interview process was private, the families shared with The Patriot a few thoughts on being guests at the Fisher House so we can do our part in sharing the stories of this generation. Ed and Karen Matayka are both medics with the National Guard and US Army, respectively. After Ed was injured in Afghanistan, the Fisher House at BAMC became the third Fisher House they lived in while Ed was recovering. No stranger to the mission of Fisher House, Karen was able

“We don’t know anyone here, so the Fisher House has given us a place to stay when we had nowhere else to go other than a hotel, which is expensive.”

to reinforce the importance of being with your loved one during hospitalization. “Being at the Fisher House has enabled me to stay with Ed without worrying about a place to live while he’s going through his recovery, as extensive and long as it’s been. It’s been a wonderful resource to have,” Karen said. “Financially it would have been draining if it had not been for the Fisher House being there,” Ed added. “It provided Karen the ability to be close if something happened, good or bad.” Newer to the Fisher House program were Crystal and Robert Bell. Robert is an Army soldier receiving treatment at BAMC.

ABOVE: Karen and Ed Matayka stand outside the Fisher House at Brooke Army Medical Center, the third Fisher House they have called home. LEFT: Newlyweds Crystal and Robert Bell in the courtyard of the BAMC Fisher Houses.

They just celebrated their one week wedding anniversary when StoryCorps came to the Fisher House. In addition to sharing with StoryCorps, they shared that they had been at the Fisher House for two months as of October. Hailing from Washington, Crystal was grateful to the Fisher House so she could be with her new husband. “We don’t know anyone here, so the Fisher House has given us a place to stay when we had nowhere else to go other than a hotel, which is expensive,” Crystal explained. Sharing such important stories with future generations is vital to their understanding of this nation’s history. By providing them with these living stories, we are allowing them to put themselves in the place of those who helped form the country to be what it is today. To listen to generations before us and learn a little living history, visit www.storycorps.org.

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

15


V ICES OF

KINDNESS

cover story

The Making of Fisher House Foundation’s Newest PSA

T

here's no one who can better explain the mission of Fisher House then the families we serve. That's exactly what the Foundation did during the making of our newest public service announcement. We had some of our special guests speak on our behalf to describe how Fisher House Foundation was there for them during their time of need.

16

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013


“I couldn’t make it on my own. It’s not easy. It’s a big, long, hard road out there. But you can make it, we made it.” — Griselle Mitchell, wife of Col. Ben Mitchell, US ARMY

“When I looked out the window, I could see the Fisher House and I knew that’s where my family was. That motivated me each and every day to get up.” — Col. Ben Mitchell, US Army

“We came a long way to be here, and we didn’t know anybody here. In the Fisher House, we met people who were in the same situation and we started helping each other.” — Paul Razon, father of Specialist Jarod Razon

“I remember the day they told us we had a room in the Fisher House. The stress immediately was lifted off my shoulders because I didn’t have to wonder where we were going next. I said, ‘okay, we’re safe.’ ” — Genette Burgess, wife of SSG Daniel Burgess, US Army

“In the beginning, every day I didn’t want to get out of bed. The Fisher House makes it easier because you have your family there with you…It’s nice having 10 moms hanging out to help you all the time.” — SFC Chris Edwards, US Army

“We owe them so much more than we could ever repay. It’s now up to us as Americans to stand up and make these families America’s families.” — Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO, Fisher House Foundation

“We see the Fisher House staff as part of the treatment team. We truly do depend on the family of the wounded warrior to assist in that process…It’s more than vital, it’s critical.” — Col. Evan Renz, Director, US Army Institute of Surgical Research Burn Center

To see our newest video, visit our YouTube channel. The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

17


e . Anderson, w “Mr. and Mrs lar cardiovascu need to run ears r son, it app u o y n o sts e t estive heart he is in cong failure.”

rson imagined le and Kelly Ande Da g in th t las e th That is ld son Hunter ter their 13-year-o af ar he d ul wo they eling well. The doctor after not fe was taken to the gan at the end ind experience be a Anderson’s whirlw feel bad. Having Hunter started to ally iti in s wa of January after er nt pneumonia, Hu d an a m th as d of an history en medicine ear infection, giv to diagnosed with an me more severe ca be s his symptom ng hi et m sent home. After lly knew so ins – Dale and Ke include chest pa was wrong.

Supporting

Their Son 18

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

Story and photos by Ashley Estill


In a matter of 24 hours, Hunter was taken to Ft. Belvoir in Virginia, Walter Reed in Bethesda, Maryland, and finally Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC because x-rays and cardiovascular tests confirmed he had enlarged heart muscles. “We came in and met everybody in the heart transplant team, heart failure team and all the doctors,” explained Dale. “But the bottom line was that Hunter’s heart was

VA and Children’s Hospital. His first night at Washington Hospital Center, Hunter underwent a cardiac catheterization, a medical procedure used to diagnose and treat some heart conditions. Doctors then informed Dale and Kelly that Hunter needed a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, because the left side of his heart was shutting down. He had surgery February 8, and Dale and Kelly are now taking things day by day.

“They’re going to have a room for however long they need one,” said Ken Merritt, manager of the DC VA Fisher House. “We are privileged to provide for our families who are struggling to be there for their loved ones.” failing him and if the doctors didn’t do something right then and there, his heart would fail.” In the middle of their medical crisis, Dale and Kelly needed to find a place to stay so they could be close to their son. Army veteran, Dale and Kelly were able to get a room at the Washington, DC VA Medical Center’s Fisher House. “They’re going to have a room for however long they need one,” said Ken Merritt, manager of the DC VA Fisher House. “We are privileged to provide for our families who are struggling to be there for their loved ones.”

“Our son is now the youngest to be brought in and receive an LVAD,” Dale said. Right now Hunter is on the waiting list for a heart transplant, something that could come in 10 days or longer down the road. “He’s a fighter, and we’ve got a long fight ahead of us,” Dale said. “Because of Hunter’s priority status for a heart transplant, when one becomes available he’ll get the transplant and take anti-rejection and blood pressure medication for the rest of his life.”

Staying positive and supporting Hunter, the Andersons are so grateful to be so close to him during everything. “I just want to say thank you very much to the Fisher House,” Dale said. “The manager and everyone at the hospitals have made it possible for Kelly and I to trade off so one of us is with Hunter. This is the greatest comfort in the world knowing I’m right here.” The DC VA Fisher House is the second house the Anderson’s have been in. They were formerly guests at the Fisher House at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Both homes have provided them with ease, knowing they are within walking distance to the hospital. “When Hunter has his heart transplant, we’ll be right here,” Kelly said. “We appreciate being here so much, and they’ve taken such good care of us.” Right now Hunter is resting comfortably at home with his with his parents and older brother Dustin while they wait for news on his heart transplant. Kelly and Dale Anderson stayed at the Fisher House for a total of 32 days.

Dale and Kelly are now across the street from Hunter, who was moved after five days from Children’s Hospital to Washington Hospital Center, located on the same campus as the

n The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

19


Team

Fisher house

Champions for Military Families Team Fisher House, the online, grassroots fundraising program of Fisher House Foundation, is excited to announce the launch of a redesigned website and online fundraising platform at www.teamfisherhouse.org. The new site features the signature bright yellow color with incredible photos of the devoted runners and volunteers who became Champions for Military Families through the Team Fisher House program. Whether you want to raise funds, volunteer, donate or become a sponsor, there are many ways you can contribute to the Fisher House mission through Team Fisher House. Join Team Fisher House as a Runner, Volunteer, Sponsor, or Donor at: September 14 – Navy Air Force Half Marathon & Navy 5 Miler in Washington, DC September 21 – Air Force Marathon in Dayton, OH October 20 – Army Ten-Miler in Washington, DC

October 27 – Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, VA

www.teamfisherhouse.org *No Federal, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, or Army Endorsement implied.

www.facebook.com/TeamFisherHouse www.twitter.com/TeamFisherHouse www.youtube.com/TeamFisherHouse

20

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

By the Numbers: Since the program’s inception in 2006, Team Fisher House has raised $2.67 million at the military races. Nearly $900,000 has been contributed by fundraisers in their community, participating in activities ranging from donating their birthdays to completing an Ironman.


Dedicating Two New Fisher Houses:

Pittsburgh and San Antonio Fisher House Foundation opened the doors to two new Fisher Houses in Pittsburgh and San Antonio. VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System welcomed their new 10-suite Fisher House this past December. Overlooking the cityscape, the 9,500 sq. ft. home was already in use, hosting several families by the time the ribbon was cut.

San Antonio,

TX

A milestone was passed in March as Fisher House Foundation dedicated the 60th Fisher House to serve military service men and women and their families. The dedication of the newest Fisher House took place at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio. “This new home represents a special benchmark, our 60th Fisher House in the world, here in San Antonio, where so many of our military live, serve, raise their families and seek out medical care,” said Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation. “Whether a veteran of past or present conflicts, we owe our veterans and their families a debt that can never be repaid.” The 13,400 sq. ft. home features 16 suites and beautiful common areas so families can have a peaceful refuge while dealing with a medical crisis.

Pittsburgh, PA

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

21


radio round-up Giving Thanks this Memorial Day Story by Randall Bloomquist

Scott Slade, host of A Grateful Nation.

M

emorial Day is a most curious holiday. It’s the traditional start of the summer season; a long weekend that leaves fond memories of family, friends and fun. But it’s also a time we set aside to remember those who gave their lives in defense of our country.

Fisher House’s Memorial Day radio special, A Grateful Nation, will help Americans with that second part. The three-hour program tells the moving personal stories of those who serve and sacrifice – fallen heroes, wounded warriors and their loved ones. The program will air on local news/talk radio stations and Sirius/XM satellite radio over the Memorial Day weekend. Scott Slade, the award-winning host of “Atlanta’s Morning News” on WSB-AM& FM, hosts A Grateful Nation. “It’s so important that we continue to remember and support our volunteer military and their families,” Slade said. “These folks make incredible sacrifices to protect our freedom and keep us safe. I’m honored to be part of this program.” This year’s edition of A Grateful Nation includes profiles of several wounded warriors who have overcome serious injuries to rebuild their lives. The program also features conversations with Gold Star spouses and parents, including a mom who stayed at the Fisher House for Families of the Fallen at Dover Air Force Base.

22

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

In addition to honoring such heroes, A Grateful Nation also generates awareness and financial support for Fisher House Foundation’s mission of supporting military families in their time of greatest need. The show is the latest collaboration in the Foundation’s ongoing relationship with news/talk radio. “The people who pass through Fisher Houses have powerful stories that need

to be told,” said Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation. “Radio’s intimacy makes it the perfect place to share those stories. We are very fortunate that radio understands the importance of supporting our military families and continues to support us by airing programs like A Grateful Nation.” For a list of local stations that will air A Grateful Nation go to www.fisherhouse.org.

Fisher House Foundation Vice President of Media Relations Cynthia Campbell recently traveled to Cumulus Media’s Atlanta headquarters to honor the company for its ongoing support of Fisher House. Cumulus radio stations, lead by WMAL/ Washington and KSFO/San Francisco, have raised more than $4 million for Fisher House. Cumulus Media Networks provides distribution and affiliation support to Fisher House’s annual Christmas special, “The Gift.” Seen accepting the honor are Cumulus News/Talk/ Sports Format Director Jim Mahaney (L) and Senior Vice President of Programming Mike McVay.


house round-up The Patriot always loves to check in and see what our Fisher Houses have been up to. Here we outline a few highlights from houses around the country and in Landstuhl, Germany.

CALIFORNIA

VA Palo Alto Health Care System Palo Alto, CA The Palo Alto Fisher House was transformed into a little piece of “The Big Easy” to celebrate Mardi Gras in style. Cmdr. Mike “Solo” Lowe, originally from the Gulf Coast, prepared Creole cuisine for the Fisher House luncheon’s 45 guests. Shelly Foutz-Lowe, the Fisher House manager who is also from the Gulf Coast, made sure the house had all the proper Mardi Gras decorations, not to mention a traditional dessert sent all the way in from New Orleans’ King Cakes.

San Diego Naval Medical Center San Diego, CA Lance Corporal Allan Klueckman exchanged vows with his beautiful new bride, Nicole Weurth Klueckman in the Fisher House living room of the San Diego Fisher House. The newlyweds started their new life together while Lance Corporal Klueckman receives treatment at the Naval Medical Center San Diego. Family, friends and the Fisher House staff witnessed the ceremony, with a small reception and cake that followed.

COLORADO

VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System Aurora, CO After a local company, ISEC, requested a presentation from the Colorado Fisher House – their company decided to get on board and support the local house. After a generous donation, they also hosted a Valentine’s Day dinner for all the guests at the Fisher House. The ISEC Foundation provided the festive decorations and dinner for all to enjoy.

David Grant USAF Medical Center Travis AFB, CA The 621st Contingency Response Wing Phoenix Mobility Program sponsored their annual Viking Challenge Relay Race in honor of the Travis AFB Fisher House, marking the 12th year the group has supported Fisher House. Pictured is Ramona Linam at the finish line at the end of 12 long hours. Twenty nine teams participated and ran a total of 2,457 miles. In addition to participating in the Viking Challenge, Ramona is a volunteer with the Travis AFB Fisher House, “Gift of a Photo Credit: TSgt Lesley Waters, 621st Meal From the Heart” program. Ramona and Contingency Response Wing, Public Affairs her friends BJ Hall, Barbara Brewer and Kathy Guevera have been providing dinner for the house guests on the first Monday of every month for the past 19 years. Recently Ramona received the Travis AFB Category I Civilian of the Year Award for her tremendous support of the Fisher House program.

D E L AWA R E

Fisher House for Families of the Fallen Dover AFB, DE Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7447 in Rehoboth Beach donated $3,000 to the Fisher House for Families of the Fallen. Dover commander Col. Rick Moore accepted the check on behalf of the Fisher House.

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

23


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Washington DC VA Medical Center Washington, DC The Phillips Collection, an impressionist and modern art museum located in DC’s Dupont Circle, continues to offer complimentary admission to Fisher House families. Families are able to take a break and enjoy this world-class museum in the Nation’s capital. Thank you Phillips Collection for offering a wonderful break for our families. “Luncheon of the Boating Party” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

F LO R I DA

Miami VA Healthcare System Miami, FL As part of the Home Depot Foundation’s annual Celebration of Service Campaign, the Miami VA Fisher House welcomed 130 Home Depot associates who volunteered their time and expertise to spruce up the Fisher House. The enthusiastic and dedicated group freshened up the entire house, inside and out, demonstrating such support for our veterans’ families to make our Fisher House even more beautiful. Home Depot continues to partner with all our Fisher Houses nationwide.

Eglin Air Force Hospital Eglin AFB, FL One of the wounded warrior families at the Eglin Fisher House had the opportunity to travel to New York City to be interviewed by talk show host Sean Hannity. SSG Aaron Hale, a longtime fan of Mr. Hannity, was excited to have the opportunity to meet the host and share his story. In December 2011, while deployed to Afghanistan, SSG Hale was injured by an Improvised Explosive Device blast. Despite losing his sight, his attitude remains upbeat and positive, an inspiration for all.

James A. Haley Veterans Hospital Tampa, FL “Love is in the Air” should have been the official theme of the Tampa Fisher House Valentine’s Day luncheon, sponsored by a group of military spouses affiliated with MacDill Air Force Base, home to both US Central Command and US Special Operations Command. Thank you to the military spouse group at MacDill Air Force Base for hosting our families.

24

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013


West Palm Beach VA Medical Center West Palm Beach, FL Emily Fisher Landau, renowned art collector and philanthropist, opened the doors of her Palm Beach residence to raise funds and awareness for the West Palm Beach chapter of Friends of Fisher House. The intimate event included guided tours of Mrs. Landau’s exquisite collection while guests mixed and mingled to support our service members and their families.

GEORGIA

Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center Augusta, GA What began as a dreary day at the Augusta Fisher House ended with sparkle and shine, thanks to the Bridgestone employees. A group of Bridgestone staff, 40 strong, arrived Friday morning armed with ladders, power washers and a lot of elbow grease. With 80 percent of the volunteers being former military, the group wanted to give back to the families of ill and injured service members. They also provided lunch in between their spring cleaning.

H AWA I I

Tripler Army Medical Center Honolulu, HI The Chaplain Resource Manager at US Army Garrison-Hawaii was able to designate the fourth quarter of their fiscal year as Chapel Community Outreach to the Fisher House because their parishioners have provided so faithfully. Thanks to their community’s generosity, they were able to provide thousands of dollars to charitable organizations within the Oahu community, including the Tripler Fisher House.

ILLINOIS

Hines VA Hospital Hines, IL The board members and volunteers of Friends of Fisher House Illinois have been busy this past year fundraising to support Hines Fisher House. They funded a new $10,000 storage unit which was completed in late summer 2012. The new shed is already in use. Friends of Fisher House

Dwight D. Eisenhower Medical Center Fort Gordon, GA Members of the Columbia County Exchange Club provided and delivered lunch for Fisher House guests from Mellow Mushroom one day in December. In addition to lunch, they also handed out greeting cards and gift cards to each of the Fisher House families.

Illinois also presented the house manager with a $20,000 check and six Target gift cards valued at $2,000 each at their annual holiday party for house guests. Thank you for your dedication to Hines Fisher House and supporting the needs of the guests who stay there.

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

25


KENTUCKY

Blanchfield Army Community Fort Campbell, KY Representatives from the Logan County Republican Women’s Club and Mrs. Louise Henderson of Antioch Baptist Church recently made a donation to the Fort Campbell Fisher House. This was the third year the Women’s Club has donated and each year they have increased their donation. Since partnering with Mrs. Henderson’s Sunday school class, the amount and awareness has grown thanks to the generosity of their community.

MARYLAND

Malcolm Grow Medical Center Andrews AFB, MD The Uptown Quilt Guild of Warsaw, Virginia, makes quilts for many deserving charities. This year the committee chose Andrews Fisher House and wounded warriors to benefit from their generous donation. Each one of these beautiful Quilts of Valor is unique and is lovingly crafted by their members. This is especially personal to the guild president, Sue Dollins, who once stayed at Fisher House while her husband William was receiving treatment. The quilts are given to guests to take home.

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, MD Because breakfast is the most important meal of the day, guests at the Fisher Houses in Bethesda, Maryland were treated to a pancake breakfast, courtesy of Bad Robot Production Company. J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and Katie McGrath treated Fisher House families, at Walter Reed and Brooke Army Medial Center in San Antonio, to gift boxes containing all the ingredients they needed to make some signature pancakes. Some of the ladies from the Walter Reed Fisher House decided to prepare breakfast for all the guests to enjoy before starting their day. Thank you Bad Robot for the festive and delicious present.

MASSACHUSETTS

VA Boston Healthcare System West Roxbury, MA Over Veterans Day weekend, Fisher House Boston dedicated a healing garden and unveiled a sculpture created by wounded Iraq War veteran, Staff Sergeant William Kleinedler. Three Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, members of the military, elected officials and Fisher House Boston board members joined SSgt. Kleinedler in celebrating the piece he created with the help of students from Worcester Technical High School. Titled “Integro,” which means “to begin anew,” this sculpture was placed in the backyard of the Fisher House in their healing garden, alongside other natural, calming influences to help bring the families who live within the Fisher House walls some peace.

26

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013


M I N N E S O TA

Minneapolis VA Health Care System Minneapolis, MN Hormel donated Easter dinner to all of our Fisher Houses nationwide, including our Fisher House in Minneapolis. Based outside of Minneapolis, Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger and Fisher House Foundation president David Coker met for a check presentation.

N E W YO R K

Stratton VA Medical Center

MISSOURI

St. Louis VA Medical Center St. Louis, MO When Gwendolyn Thornton received a call from the St. Louis Fisher House staff to confirm her stay, she stated that her luck could not get any better. However, upon her arrival, Gwendolyn was very surprised to learn that in receiving her key she represented the 1,000th family to be served at the St. Louis Fisher House. To mark the occasion, the St. Louis Fisher House staff prepared a special lunch.

Albany, NY As 2012 was brought to an end, the Albany Fisher House said goodbye to three of their tenured volunteers. Marilyn White, Dorothy Damiano and Karlye Pilai have a combined service total of over 40 years. Marilyn and Dorothy kept the Fisher House full of home-baked goods, while Karlye was the house’s green thumb. While they say goodbye to three ladies, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

NORTH CAROLINA

Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, NC In December, the Camp Lejeune Fisher House hosted Maj. Gen. James Livingston, Medal of Honor recipient. Maj. Gen. Livingston, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic actions in Vietnam in 1968, visited the Fisher House while in the area for a speaking engagement. The Medal of Honor Society has always been a great partner of Fisher House Foundation.

Womack Army Medical Center Fort Bragg, NC The Raleigh Harley Owners Group out of Ray Price Harley Davidson in Raleigh, NC, has been a supporter of the Fort Bragg Fisher House for many years. Their support began in 2005 when club member Terry O’Grady first visited Fisher House. After meeting with manager, Paula Gallero, Terry was impressed with the care given to military families and she became an advocate for the Fisher House. Over the past seven years, the group has generously donated to the Fort Bragg Fisher House. We thank you for your support of our nation’s military and veterans.

OHIO

Wright-Patterson Medical Center Wright-Patterson AFB, OH Each Friday, the Wright Patterson Fisher Houses receive a delivery of homemade cookies from their “Cookie Lady.” For over four years the “Cookie Lady” has baked 130 different types of cookies for Fisher House guests. In addition to baking traditional chocolate chip and sugar cookies, one of her most enjoyed cookies is the brownie stuffed chocolate chip cookie. Each delivery is made by her retired Air Force husband and includes the recipe for the cookies being delivered. With so many requests for recipes, the “Cookie Lady” now has a recipe book in the Fisher House kitchen for the current guests and many more to enjoy.

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

27


TEXAS

William Beaumont Army Medical Center El Paso, TX David Haendle was a guest staying at the Fisher House in El Paso and helped describe the experience to manager Harry Hicks. He and his wife were pleased to discover the house was in such close proximity to the hospital, allowing the couple to walk back and forth while their daughter was being treated. Able to do laundry and cook, this helped the family maintain some normalcy during a medical crisis.

Brooke Army Medical Center San Antonio Military Medical Center Fort Sam Houston, TX

Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Fort Hood, TX To help support the needs of their local Fisher House, the Navy Federal Credit Union’s Fort Hood branch made a donation to the Fort Hood Fisher House in celebration of their 10,000th member. Sgt. 1st Class Bienvenido Lopez-Torres was looking for a better rate for his car loan when he soon discovered a surprise waiting for him; the bank presented the donation to the Fisher House.

After a soldier at the BAMC Warrior Family Support Center taught Kaylee and Gracie Burgess how to make bracelets, Kaylee decided to ask her parents for supplies to make them for her birthday. Kaylee and Gracie came up with a plan to make the bracelets and sell them, donating their earned money to Fisher House.

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Houston, TX Recently Boy Scout Troop 40, spearheaded by Eagle Scout Nominee Jacob Jozwiak, took to making a difference to guests of the Houston Fisher House and for those looking for them. The resulting granite sign depicts Fisher House and is surrounded by roses. Jacob learned the skills of cutting metal and welding to personally create the frame as well as raised the money for this addition to their home. His efforts will be standing for years to come.  

28

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

Although you may recognize the name Montel Williams, what you might not realize is he’s a fantastic cook. Every few months, Montel and his friend Chef Claire Winslow visit one of our Fisher Houses to prepare lunch for our service members and their families. This past February he visited the Fisher House at Brooke Army Medical Center to share some of his gratitude and recipes with our families.


Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center San Antonio Military Medical Center Lackland AFB, TX Fisher House, Inc. Executive Director, Dwayne Hopkins, CMSgt (USAF. Ret.) and Board President, Mrs. Lorraine Potter, Major General (USAF. Ret.) presented Staff Sergeant Anthony Wainwright, Fisher House Foundation Air Force Volunteer of Year Plaque for 2012. Also pictured is Assistant House Manager, Mrs. Whitney Goligowski; House Manager, Ms. Ramona Lewis; and Mrs. Sara R. Paniagua, Volunteer Manager. SSgt Wainwright is a Radiology Instructor for the 382nd Training Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio, TX, whose dedication and commitment to his fellow service men and their families is outstanding. His support of military families even meant that January 31st is now declared “Wainwright Day.”

VIRGINIA WA S H I N G T O N

Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth

Madigan Healthcare System

Portsmouth, VA

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA

This year marked the 10th year American Legion Post 310 has held their Marathon Bluegrass Jam Session to honor the Fisher House at Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia. Local musicians began playing at noon and continued until midnight to raise funds to support military service and women and their families.

The JBLM Fisher House staff recently celebrated their volunteers with a luncheon in their honor. During the special event, volunteers received Army Volunteer Corps and Fisher House volunteer awards. Longtime volunteer Herb Schmeling was recognized and received the Army Fisher House Volunteer of the Year Award for his hard work and dedication. Herb has volunteered with the JBLM Fisher House for over 12 years. Thank you Herb for your support of Fisher House.

VA Puget Sound Healthcare System Seattle, WA

McGuire VA Medical Center Richmond, VA The Richmond Fisher House completed a patio project in the back of the home. The patio provides guests 1,800 square feet of new patio space, a complete outside kitchen, waterfall and a gazebo for the families to enjoy and relax. The staff has also provided a state of the art shade system and a walkway to the children’s playground, so families can have better access to the playground with wounded warrior families in wheelchairs. Jimmy Barrett, radio personality from WRVA Newsradio in Richmond, helped raise awareness and hosted fundraisers to support the efforts at the Richmond Fisher House. Another organization, the Links of Richmond, also made a generous contribution towards the project.

The Friends of VA Puget Sound Fisher House are again partnering with Prof. Daniel Winterbottom and the senior students in his Design/ Build program (University of Washington School of Landscape Architecture) to build more gardens at Puget Sound. Phase I was completed in 2010, and the Fisher House now has a design that picks up where Phase I left off. The new design wraps around the House and includes a water feature and mosaic; seating; improvements to the Children’s Garden; and additional veggie garden space. 

GERMANY

Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Fisher House Foundation would like to offer thanks to the Mayor of Landstuhl, Herr Klaus Grumer, for his support of the Fisher House program. Recently retired, he has supported the Fisher Houses at Landstuhl since they opened in 2000. We thank him for his dedication and friendship over the years.

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

29


Future Fisher Houses

in Action Gainesville, FL It was a beautiful day for the Gainesville Fisher House Veterans Day 5K in November. A huge American flag towered over the race as runners dedicated their morning to supporting the future Fisher House at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center. Thanks to everyone for their support.

Photo credit: Marty McCrory / Race Pace Photos

Milwaukee, WI Madison Linnihan, a junior in high school, and Emma Favill, an 8th grader, presented The Nutcracker at Dixon Elementary School on December 15 to raise money for the Fisher House of Milwaukee. The girls spent months in preparation: casting, choreographing, costuming, teaching, and finally performing the holiday classic. In the end, the girls raised more than $2,700 for the Milwaukee Fisher House.

30

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013


Murfreesboro, TN

West Haven, CT

Congratulations to Andy Lawrence, president of the Tennessee Fisher House, for being a November honoree for the Brentwood Home Page/ Puffy Muffin Community Hero. Andy has been working with her local community in Murfreesboro to raise funds and awareness for a Fisher House at the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center. The Foundation is incredibly proud of her dedication to the military. Congratulations, Andy.

Fisher House Connecticut is busy working on several ventures towards building Connecticut’s first Fisher House at the West Haven VA Medical Center. This year, they have continued a successful campaign with ShopRite, which last year resulted in a $58,000 donation from Harry Garafalo, owner of four ShopRite stores in Connecticut (pictured on the right below with director Kevin E.Creed at left).

Ava and Olivia are members of the Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs Children of the American Revolution Chapter in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and have been making presentations, campaigning to raise funds for the Tennessee Fisher House Foundation. The two made their first presentation to their own CAR Chapter in January 2012. Since that time, they have made presentations to other chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Long Beach, CA

Birmingham, UK

On January 16, 2013 Fisher House Southern California, Inc. was incorporated. One hundred people attended a kickoff event on January 31 for local community, business and veteran group leaders to introduce the Fisher House effort for the VA Long Beach Medical Center campus. Isabel Duff, director of the VA Long Beach Healthcare System, Cindy Campbell, vice president for media relations of Fisher House Foundation and Jennifer Koget, VA program manager for Fisher House were all in attendance. Steve Kuykendall, President/CEO, Fisher House Southern California, Inc. introduced the board and gave a brief overview of the plan for the facility.

Soccer superstar David Beckham visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in January and signed a Fisher House UK shirt. Thanks for the support David.

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

31


down

range

Fisher House Foundation is building on its commitment to help military families

The following projects are currently in design or under construction:

Orlando VA Medical Center Orlando, FL

David Grant Air Force Medical Center Travis AFB, CA (second house)

Ramstein, Germany

Malcom Randall VA Medical Center Gainesville, FL Womack Army Medical Center Ft. Bragg, NC Tennessee Valley Healthcare System Murfreesboro, TN Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Houston, TX (second house) Madigan Healthcare System Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA (second house)

Tripler Army Medical Center Honolulu, HI Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center Chicago, IL Korea VA Maine Health Care System Togus, ME VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System Omaha, NE New Mexico VA Health Care System Albuquerque, NM

Future projects with an immediate recognized need:

Nellis Air Force Base Las Vegas, NV

Southern Arizona VA Health Care System Tucson, AZ

Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center Cleveland, OH

Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton Camp Pendleton, CA

Portland VA Medical Center Portland, OR

VA Long Beach Healthcare System Long Beach, CA

VA Caribbean Healthcare System San Juan, PR

VA Palo Alto Health Care System Palo Alto, CA (second house)

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, VA

VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System Denver, CO (second house)

Clement C. Zablocki VA Medical Center Milwaukee, WI

VA Connecticut Healthcare System West Haven, CT

Fisher House Directory ALASKA Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Hospital 4943 Zeamer Ave. 673 MDSS/SGS/FH Elmendorf AFB, AK 99506 (907) 222-1673 POC: Jenny Hall jhall@akfisherhouse.org CALIFORNIA VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System 11301 Wilshire Blvd. (10AF) Building 512 Los Angeles, CA 90073 (310)268-4457 fax: (310) 268-3449 Manager: Sharon Hudson sharon.hudson4@va.gov VA Palo Alto Health Care System 3801 Miranda Ave. Palo Alto, CA 94304 (650) 493-5000 x.60384 fax: (650) 849-1269 Manager: Shelly Foutz-Lowe, LICSW shelly.foutz-lowe@va.gov San Diego Naval Medical Center I, II 34800 Bob Wilson Dr. Bldg 46 San Diego, CA 92134-5000 (619) 532-9055 fax: (619) 532-5216 Manager: Kristin Palmer kristin.palmer@med.navy.mil David Grant USAF Medical Center 100 Bodin Circle Travis AFB, CA 94535-1804 (707) 423-7550 fax: (707) 423-7552 Manager: Charlene Hall charlene.hall.1@us.af.mil COLORADO VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System 1954 Quentin St. Aurora, CO 80010 (303) 399-8020 x. 2049 fax: (303) 364-4882 Manager: Joy Weyna-King joy.weyna-king@va.gov DELAWARE Fisher House for Families of the Fallen 220 Lajes St. Dover AFB, DE 19902 (302) 677-5317 POC: TSgt. Cheryl Uylaki cheryl.uylaki@us.af.mil DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Washington DC VA Medical Center 50 Irving St. NW Washington, DC 20422 (202) 745-2482 Manager: Kenneth E. Merritt kenneth.merritt@va.gov FLORIDA Bay Pines VA Healthcare System 10000 Bay Pines Blvd. Bay Pines, FL 33744 (727) 319-1350 fax: (727) 319-1106 Manager: Rena Graves rena.graves@va.gov

32

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013


*Please direct all correspondence to the Zachary and Elizabeth M. Fisher House, along with the specific house address. For any correspondence questions, please contact the Fisher House manager directly at the desired location.

Eglin Air Force Hospital 350 Boatner Rd. Eglin AFB, FL 32542 (850) 883-2865 Manager: Ron Gribble ronald.gribble@eglin.af.mil James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital 13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. Tampa, FL 33612 (813) 910-3000 fax: (813) 910-3088 Manager: Paula Welenc paula.welenc@va.gov Miami VA Healthcare System 1201 NW 16th St. Miami, FL 33125 (305) 575-7260 fax: (305) 575-7261 Manager: Carolyn Soucy carolyn.soucy@va.gov West Palm Beach VA Medical Center 7305 N. Military Trail-Route 136 W. Palm Beach, FL 33410 (561) 422-5554 fax: (561) 442-8793 Manager: Thompsi Hoff thompsi.hoff@va.gov GEORGIA Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center One Freedom Way Augusta, GA 30904 (706) 729-5773 Manager: Anne Arnold anne.arnold@va.gov Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Hospital Fisher House Rd. - Bldg 280 Fort Gordon, GA 30905-5650 (706) 787-7100 fax: (706) 787-5106 Manager: Francisco Cruz fheamc@aol.com HAWAII Tripler Army Medical Center I, II 315 Krukowski Rd. Honolulu, HI 96819 (808) 433-1291 x. 28 fax: (808) 433-3619 Manager: Theresa Johnson theresa.m.johnson2.naf@mail.mil ILLINOIS Hines VA Hospital 5000 S 5th Ave. Hines, IL 60141 (708) 202-7154 fax: (708) 202-7155 Manager: Holly Wright holly.wright@va.gov KENTUCKY Blanchfield Army Community Hospital 650 Joel Dr. Fort Campbell, KY 42223 (270) 798-8330 fax: (270) 798-8804 Manager: Wendy J. Carlston wendy.j.carlston.naf@mail.mil MARYLAND Malcolm Grow Medical Center 1076 West Perimeter Rd. Andrews AFB, MD 20762

(301) 981-1243 fax: (301) 981-7629 Manager: Janet Grampp janet_grampp@msn.com Walter Reed National Military Medical Center I, II, III, IV, V 24 Stokes Rd. Bethesda, MD 20814-5002 (301)295-5334 fax: (301) 295-5632 Manager: Becky Wood bwood@fisherhousebethesda.org Walter Reed – Forest Glen 2460 Linden Ln. Bldg 173 Silver Spring, MD 20910 (301) 295-7373 fax: (301) 295-8012 Manager: Maurice Borde wrfisher2a@aol.com MASSACHUSETTS VA Boston Healthcare System 1400 VFW Pkwy. West Roxbury, MA 02132 (857) 203-4000 Manager: Elizabeth St. Pierre elizabeth.stpierre@va.gov MINNESOTA Minneapolis VA Health Care System I, II 1 Veterans Dr. Minneapolis, MN 55417 (612) 467-5602 fax: (612) 970-5864 Manager: Marge Oslund mary.oslund@va.gov MISSISSIPPI Keesler AFB Medical Center 509 Fisher St. Keesler AFB, MS 39534-2599 (228) 377-8264 fax: (228) 377-7691 Manager: Larry Vetter larry.vetter.1@us.af.mil MISSOURI St. Louis VA Medical Center 1 Jefferson Barracks Rd. St. Louis, MO 63125 (314) 894-6145 fax: (314) 894-6147 Manager: Karen Poston karen.poston@va.gov NEW YORK Stratton VA Medical Center 113 Holland Ave. Albany, NY 12208 (518) 626-6919 fax: (518) 626-5452 Manager: Jerry Jensen jerry.jensen@va.gov NORTH CAROLINA Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital 4 Recovery Way Camp Lejeune, NC 28547 (910) 450-3885 fax: (910) 450-3887 Manager: Josie Callahan josephine.f.callahan@usmc.mil Womack Army Medical Center 12 Bassett St. Fort Bragg, NC 28307-5000 (910) 432-1486 fax: (910) 432-3825 Manager: Paula Gallero fhwamc@aol.com

OHIO Cincinnati VAMC 3200 Vine St. Cincinnati, OH 45220 (513) 475-6571 fax: (513) 487-6661 Manager: Karrie Hagan karrie.hagan@va.gov Wright-Patterson Medical Center I, II 417 Schlatter Dr. Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433 (937) 257-0855 fax: (937) 656-2150 Manager: Karen Healea karen.healea@wpafb.af.mil PENNSYLVANIA VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System University Drive C, Bldg 33 Pittsburgh, PA 15240 (412) 360-2030 fax: (937) 656-2150 Manager: Heather Frantz heather.frantz@va.gov TEXAS VA North Texas Health Care System 4500 S. Lancaster Rd. Bldg 79 Dallas, TX 75216 (214) 857-2574 fax: (214) 462-4923 Manager: Lydia Henderson lydia.henderson1@va.gov William Beaumont Army Medical Center Bldg 7360 Rodriguez St. El Paso, TX 79930 (915) 569-1860 fax: (915) 569-1862 Manager: Harry Hicks fhwbamc@aol.com Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Bldg. 36015 Fisher Ln. Fort Hood, TX 78254 (254) 286-7927 fax: (254) 286-7929 Manager: Isaac Howard isaac.r.howard.naf@mail.mil Brooke Army Medical Center I,II,III,IV San Antonio Military Medical Center 3623 George C. Beach Dr. Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234 (210) 916-6000 fax: (210) 916-6488 Manager: Inge Godfrey fhbamc@aol.com Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center 2002 Holcombe Blvd. Houston, TX 77030 (713) 794-8095 fax: (713) 794-7194 Manager: Frank Kelley frank.kelley@med.va.gov Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center I, II, III San Antonio Military Medical Center 1445 Foster Ave. Bldg 3865 Lackland AFB, TX 78236 (210) 671-6037 fax: (210) 671-6020 Manager: Ramona Lewis rlewis-fisherhouse@sbcglobal.net

South Texas Veterans Health Care System 7485 Wurzbach Road San Antonio, Texas 78229 (210) 617-5300 x. 16626 Manager: Harry Robinson harry.robinson2@va.gov UTAH Salt Lake City VA Health Care System 690 S. Valdez Dr. Salt Lake City, UT 84148 (801) 588-5900 Manager: Quinn Kiger-Good quinn.kiger@va.gov UNITED KINGDOM Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Mindelsohn Way Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TH 0121-472-6217 fax: 0121-4130-6897 Manager: Patrick Hogan VIRGINIA Fort Belvoir Community Hospital 9201 Woodbury Rd. Ft. Belvoir, VA 22060 (703) 805-5203 Manager: Roxannamaria Calderon BelvoirFisherHouse@gmail.com Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth 853 Fisher Dr. Bldg 287 Portsmouth, VA 23708 (757) 953-6889 fax: (757) 953-7174 Manager: Jill Thompson fishrhouse@msn.com McGuire VA Medical Center 1201 Broad Rock Blvd. Richmond, VA 23249 (804) 675-6639 fax: (804) 675-5979 Manager: Wayne Walker wayne.walker@va.gov WASHINGTON Madigan Healthcare System 9999 Wilson Ave. Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433 (253) 964-9283 fax: (253) 968-3619 Manager: Jodi Land fhmamc@aol.com VA Puget Sound Healthcare System 1660 South Columbian Way Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 768-5353 fax: (206) 277-1415 Manager: Cecile Bagrow cecile.bagrow@va.gov GERMANY Landstuhl Regional Medical Center I & II CMR 402 Box 669 APO, AE 09180 011-49-6371-6183311 Fax: 011-49-6371-866679 Manager: Vivian Wilson vivian.wilson@amedd.army.mil

The Patriot • VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2013

33


Fisher House Foundation, Inc. 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420 Rockville, MD 20850-5000

Because we

our heroes.

For more than twenty years, Fisher House Foundation has been dedicated to meeting the needs of our military heroes and their families, all made possible by the generosity of people just like you. At the very heart of our program, we construct and donate Fisher Houses to military and VA medical centers, and support the operation of more than 60 existing houses. These “homes away from home” offer a welcoming place to stay for the families of our military while their loved ones receive specialized medical care. Because lodging at any Fisher House is free, patients and their visiting families can focus on what’s most important, the healing process. Additionally, our Hero Miles program assists with travel needs, and our scholarship program offers educational advancement to military children and spouses. Show your love by making a donation to Fisher House. To find out more, please visit www.fisherhouse.org or call (888) 294-8560.

Fisher House Foundation

CFC Code: 11453

©2013 Fisher House Foundation Creative services donated by ds+f, Washington, D.C. www.dsfriends.com | Photo provided by Craig Orsini. www.orsinistudio.com


Patriot Magazine Volume 4 Issue 1