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2018 VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2



Fisher House Gave Us a Normal Life in an Abnormal Circumstance COVER STORY Page 14

We Found Calm During Our Son’s Medical Crisis

Contents Social Media Support


Former FH Guest Takes the Lead In Bringing a FH to His Community


Guest Family­Profile: The Cooley Family


Giving Back… Many Ways United Rentals Is Making a Difference 5 Day In The Life 2018 Photo Contest


A Fisher House Thank-You


Team Fisher House


Journal Entries


Batter Up for Fisher House


The Huntsman Experience 2018


Meet the Staff


Fisher House Salutes


Meet the Manager


COVER STORY: Air Force Family Finds Calm During Son's Medical Crisis 14 Air Force Fisher House Managers Support Warrior Games


Children at Warrior Games Are the Biggest Fans


Hearts in the Community


House Roundup


Ways to Give


Dedications & Groundbreakings


Community Groups in Action


Down Range


Fisher House Directory


About Fisher House Foundation Inc. Fisher House Foundation is best known for its network of comfort homes, where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. These homes are located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide and in Europe, close to the medical center or hospital they serve. Fisher Houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room. Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is never a lodging fee. Since its inception, the program has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $400-plus million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation. Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members, as well as the Hotels for Heroes program, using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay without charge at hotels near medical centers. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans. Fisher House Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit organization under section 501 (c)3 of the IRS code. Donations to Fisher House Foundation or individual Fisher Houses are taxdeductible to the maximum extent permitted by law.

Fisher House Program by the


$400+ Million


Savings for families in lodging and transportation cost


8 Million

PRESIDENT David A. Coker

Days of lodging offered

CHIEF OF STAFF Mary Considine



Families served


78 Fisher Houses in operation


The statistics in this graphic reflect the Fisher House program’s impact since inception.

Address all correspondence to: The Patriot Fisher House Foundation 12300 Twinbrook Parkway Suite 410 Rockville, MD 20852



Phone: (301) 294-8560 Fax: (301) 294-8562 Email: Cover photo by Craig Orsini

At Fisher House Foundation, our magazine, much like the work we do, is about teamwork. The Patriot is created in-house by our communications staff. Our team of graphic designers at Don Schaaf & Friends in Washington, D.C., donates services toward the design of each issue, and our printing partners help ensure we are getting the best rates possible. The Patriot magazine is one of our best resources to educate audiences about the Foundation’s work, and we are proud of the product we create. We are grateful to provide this resource at a very minimal cost, thanks to the work of everyone involved. At Fisher House, we always strive to be good stewards of your donation to the Foundation.

LETTER FROM KEN FISHER Dear Friends, When people think of helping our military and their families, their thoughts jump to the combat injured. However, combat wounded are a small, albeit very important, percentage of the families we serve. Many families, like our cover story, found Fisher House to be a haven when their children or spouse needed critical care. Little Jeremy Chwalik went through open-heart surgery and leukemia— a parent’s true nightmare. Yet, in the midst of everything, his mother took the time to write about her Fisher House experiences. We were there in their darkest hours and are now happy to be celebrating the life of their vibrant son. This is only one Fisher House story. On any given night, up to 1,000 military and veterans’ families are cooking dinner, visiting their loved ones, and sleeping safely and soundly at a Fisher House. Each of these families has a story. Fisher Houses work not because of the bricks and mortar of the buildings, but because of the comfort and compassion provided by the staff and volunteers within. They enable a family’s love to supplement the medical care provided by the doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals necessary for our military and veterans. They are the lifeblood of our organization and its many initiatives, and we could not complete our mission without them. Like most of you, I believe that helping our wounded, injured and ill military and veterans isn’t charity, but rather this nation’s solemn duty. It is an investment in healing and recovery that can give families the opportunity to rebuild their lives. In these very tough situations, they don’t quit on themselves. Neither should we.

Brad Keselowski, one of NASCAR’s best drivers, takes a photo break with Ken Fisher at The Huntsman Experience, a fundraiser for the Michigan Fisher House.

When staff members and volunteers at Fisher Houses say, “Thank you for your service,” it is followed up by something more tangible: action. They have resolved to go beyond an expression of gratitude and actually take the steps to make our service members, veterans and families lives a little easier, a little safer and a little happier. Sincerely,

Kenneth Fisher Chairman and CEO, Fisher House Foundation @kenfisherfhf

Mark “Ranger” Jones, Fisher House Foundation Trustee, joins Paige Keselowski, Kayla and Dan Patrick; Brad Keselowski and Ken Fisher for an exciting and fun day at The Huntsman Experience outside of Detroit.

Charity Ratings: A+ 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 hold the highest ratings awarded by the top national charity watchdog organizations. Fisher House Foundation has received an A+ from CharityWatch (formerly the American Institute of Philanthropy) in its Veterans and Military category. Out of 65 charities rated, Fisher House Foundation is one of only two charities to receive this distinctive A+ rating. Charity Navigator awarded the foundation its coveted 4-star rating for sound fiscal management for the 14th consecutive year, a rating achieved by less than 1 percent of the charities in the country that it monitors.



SOCIAL MEDIA SUPPORT FACEBOOK FEEDBACK “Our St. Louis Fisher House is fantastic! It is operated with love by people who truly have a heart to serve. I am honored and blessed to be a part of this phenomenal organization.” — Margie O. “My husband had open heart surgery at the Washington, D.C. VA, I was very worried and scared. I was there for a whole week. I cooked my lasagna and had everyone join in the kitchen. We all came together and dined. It was very memorable. I will never forget how comforting it was to be at this 'home away from home'. Please donate to this noble cause.” — Sara G. “Fisher House was there for us when our son was in the hospital after being shot in Afghanistan. We stayed there for a month while he was in the hospital. They were a godsend, and we are so appreciative for everything they did for us.” — Jackie M. “We stayed at the Walter Reed Fisher House when our son lost his leg in Iraq. Words cannot express how grateful we are for their caring ways that started our long road to healing. They are God’s gift to those needing a supportive hand up.” — Lee L. “I stayed at Fisher House Seattle while my brother was dying. Over that time, I received much more than a place to stay. Peace, courage, hugs and prayers were always there when I walked through the door. It made a sad time so much easier— now one of my favorite charities because I know firsthand the good it does!” — Ginny H.

TWITTER LOVE “Thank you so much for letting me stay during my husband’s surgery. I almost cried when I opened the door to my room—so beautiful and comfortable, and I felt safe. You help more than you could ever know.” — Aimee Donahue, @aimeedonahue19 “Thank you @fisherhousefdtn in Miami for allowing my mother and me a wonderful stay last week while my brother, a Navy veteran, went through triple bypass surgery. It was such a relief for us. God bless.” — Jenny Sue, @jennysue62 “#CharityTuesday Great to offer a pamper day at Fisher House QE Birmingham for @helpforheroes today for Band of Sisters. We just love to get involved in the local community.” —W Mids Nail & Beauty, @wmidsacademy “Headed to MI early with @paigekeselowski. Having our @bkcff fundraiser tonight for the @fisherhousefdtn and we were able to make a site visit for the future home of the Ann Arbor Fisher House.” — Brad Keselowski, @keselowski See related story about The Huntsman Experience on page 10.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION! Don’t forget to connect with us on Instagram too (@fisherhousefdtn). Share your story with us using the hashtag #FisherHouse!





Story and Photos by Kerri Childress

Purple Heart recipient Daniel Patrick is quick to say that one of the best night’s sleep he ever had was in a Fisher House. “I had to go to Wright-Patterson Medical Center for days of probing and testing, including psychological interviews,” said Dan, who planned to make the Marine Corps a career before his last injury. “I was dreading it and needed my best friend, Chris, with me. I was so surprised when they told me we could stay at the Fisher House because I thought it was only for family. I will never forget the kindness shown to me. Chris and the Fisher House got me through those really tough days.” To give back, Dan started volunteering with the Fisher House Michigan community group, which was working to raise money and awareness to build a Fisher House at the VA hospital in Ann Arbor. He was majoring in literature and writing at Eastern Michigan and started helping the community group with speeches, news releases and other writing assignments. Additionally, he supported the fundraising efforts of the group by talking about his Fisher House experiences to audiences throughout Michigan. In September 2017, Dan was selected to be a director of Fisher House Michigan. He is the first community group director to have stayed at a Fisher House. “I always wanted to be a Marine since I was a kid, so it was heartbreaking when my injuries prevented me from making it a

career. I loved being part of a team and taking care of my brothers and sisters. I was not done serving,” said Dan. “Working with Fisher House Michigan has given me back that sense of helping— that sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself.” Michigan has more than 650,000 veterans, according to Dan, so many must travel long distances to Ann Arbor VA for their medical care. Right now, their families have nowhere to stay. Dan focuses on reaching out and educating organizations, corporations, and state and national political representatives about the need for a Fisher House in Michigan. “I never gave the need a thought until I was there myself,” he said. Three months ago, Dan married Kayla, whom he has known since sixth grade. Now, she accompanies him on many of his travels. “I know this job means a lot to Dan,” said Kayla. “In fact, it was just what he needed.” “I am lucky to be alive,” Dan acknowledges. “And I’ve spent much of my early civilian career looking for ways to give back. Fisher House is more than just a building. It’s about creating a home and community around our veterans. I’m so proud to be part of that.”



GUEST FAMILY PROFILE: The Cooley Family Story and Photos by Ashley Estill

NAME: Joshua Cooley HOUSE: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center – Bethesda, Md. HOME: Brooksville, Fla. MILITARY BRANCH: Marine Corps

As Christine Cooley recalled her son Marine Corps Sgt. Joshua Cooley’s injuries, Joshua sat there holding her hand as she spoke. On July 5, 2005, Christine received a phone call that Joshua had been injured in an IED blast and that she would need to get to Landstuhl, Germany immediately — and that her son may not make it because his injuries were so severe. Christine spent two nights in Germany, and she and Joshua made the trip together to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (then — Bethesda Naval) where Joshua would receive treatment for his injuries — shrapnel in his head the size of a credit card. Christine’s initial stay at the Fisher House was for nearly four months — until Joshua stabilized. Subsequently, they went to the VA hospital for treatment, and back to Walter Reed for Joshua's surgery. Each time, Fisher House was there for her. “Fisher House always had a room for us — they never failed,” she said. “Fisher House — even the cleaning staff, they make such a fuss over Josh. Mike [Fisher House manager] saw Joshua when he wasn’t walking or talking. Now, when Joshua walks in here, everyone gets so excited when they see how well he’s doing. I always feel like my friends are here. And it’s a good thing to go through this with people like that around you.” Thirteen years later, Joshua remains a fighter and is walking and talking — and making jokes! He has some physical and cognitive limitations, so Christine lives with him in Florida, but they continue to come to Bethesda for treatment. Joshua is strong and spirited, and is happy that he is still taller than and outranks his two brothers (who are also in the Marine Corps). “Where would we go without Fisher House? I can cook here; we make friends here,” Christine said. “We play games and keep in touch with people we met. It’s been a long journey, and we’ll be back.”



“This is a home. When we were in such shock after Joshua was injured, you just walk around in a fog. To have a little piece of home helps keep you going. To eat a meal with your family, that was so important to get us through,” Christine said.


United Rentals Is Making a Difference Story by Kerri Childress

It’s called 360 degrees of giving in the nonprofit world, and no one understands the concept better than United Rentals, who has been a partner with Fisher House Foundation for the past four years. Founded in 1997, United Rentals has donated funds, volunteered at Fisher Houses and provided the Foundation visibility through signage on its equipment and fundraising events. But its biggest contribution has been to offer— free of charge— equipment needed to build our homes. The types of equipment vary based on the unique characteristics of each Fisher House location, but United Rentals comes through with whatever is needed, from larger pieces of equipment like forklifts, skid-steer loaders and aerial work platforms to smaller items like air compressors and hand tools. To date, United Rentals has supported the building of 18 Fisher Houses for a total savings to the Foundation of more than $1 million. “We’re an equipment rental company that cares deeply about our military and veterans. So, providing equipment to help build Fisher Houses is a great fit,” said Tim Rule, vice president of market development. “When we found out about Fisher House’s mission and the homes it builds, we quickly realized that we could help make a difference.”

In 2017, United Rentals was voted Best of the Best by U.S. Veterans Magazine, and Military Times named it the Best for Vets Employer. “We see military and veterans, not only as people who have sacrificed to serve our country, but as great potential team members here at United Rentals,” said Tim. Even offering support at future Fisher Houses, United Rentals employees were volunteering at Fisher Houses across the country, constructing a stone sidewalk in San Antonio; inventorying and storing items at El Paso, Texas, while the Fisher House was being renovated; hosting Thanksgiving dinners at the Portland VA in Oregon; and landscaping the grounds at the Houston Fisher House — just to name a few. “Additionally, employees have organized fundraisers like golf and fishing tournaments,” said Tim. “One of our branches even dedicated a portion of the rental proceeds from a specially decorated Fisher House boom lift to the Foundation. These activities give employees a sense of satisfaction and pride in being able to help. Employees who work for companies that actively give back to the community tend to be more engaged and satisfied. These are some of the reasons why our partnership is a win-win.”








LIFE 2018

Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital Fisher House Photo by Holly Wright

Fisher House for Families of the Fallen Photo by TSgt. Dorothy Whitfield



VA North Texas Dallas Fisher House Photo by Bruce M. Morris

PHOTO CONTEST Each year the Foundation sponsors a “Day in the Life” photo contest to visually showcase the Fisher House mission. It’s often hard to describe the trials, camaraderie and bonds formed, so we’ve reached out to the Fisher Houses to help show that through photos. Here, we highlight the winners.


JBER Hospital Fisher House Photo by Leah Buchko

A FISHER HOUSE THANK-YOU Bob Bisaccia is a veteran who served as part of the 101st Battalion of the US Army during the Berlin Crisis. He’s also a member of the Rosco Amvets, Post #40 in his hometown of Yonkers, N.Y. Bob first became involved with the Fisher family after working with Fisher Brothers, a New York real estate developer, and meeting its founding partner and founder of the Fisher House program, Zachary Fisher. The Fisher’s legacy has inspired Bob to continue serving military, veterans and their families through his own talents. Bob frequently hosts events where he sings — performing musical tributes to audiences throughout the New York metropolitan area. He performs with quartets, big bands and vocalists like the USO show Troupe, all to help support Fisher House Foundation. Thank you, Bob, for continuing to support military families.



TEAM FISHER HOUSE BEAZER HOMES In 2017, Beazer Homes decided to raise funds and awareness for Fisher House Foundation through the Patriot Challenge program with Team Fisher House. Brian Beazer (chairman emeritus) and Allan Merrill (CEO), along with a group of co-workers, ran the Nashville Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon. In 2018, they did it again. This time, there were 32 employees who signed up to run in the Rock ’n’ Roll marathon series. Allan said, “Giving back to our communities is one of our highest corporate priorities — particularly where we can engage a large portion of our team in a fun and healthy event, and where we know that our efforts will make a difference.” It truly is a corporate affair: Co-workers come out to cheer on the runners along the course in Nashville, and employees around the country post their support on social media. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Beazer team, over $80,000 has been raised in two years!

CORPORATE SPONSOR FEATURE: La Quinta Inns & Suites: An All-Around Champion for Team Fisher House

For the past seven years, La Quinta Inns & Suites has supported Team Fisher House as a Corporate Champion, providing support to fundraisers through its donations to sponsor the Team and with goodies in the team bag to keep the fundraisers prepared. Its commitment to the team goes beyond corporate donations— La Quinta also has employees run at the Marine Corps Marathon, Marine Corps 10K and Army Ten-Miler. Wearing the signature Team Fisher House yellow jerseys, Team La Quinta won Largest Team in 2017 and had several members recognized as top fundraisers. La Quinta Inns & Suites is a great supporter of the military, veterans and their families. The company is frequently listed as a top organization for hiring veterans and military spouses, and its support goes beyond the hiring process. As a great partner of the Foundation’s Hotels for Heroes program, La Quinta’s customers have donated millions of hotel rewards points. Fisher House is honored by the level of support and commitment from La Quinta Inns & Suites, and its volunteer efforts at our Fisher Houses. To learn more about how your company can become a Team Fisher House Corporate Champion, please contact THE PATRIOT • VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 • 2018


Entries From Fisher House Guests Within the walls of each Fisher filled House guest suite are journals of a s with entries containing storie or just loved one, encouraging words will rds a simple thank-you. These wo g be read by the next family stayin ce pea in that room to help them find of and hope. Here, we share a few ilies. fam these words, written by our

cribe the profound “Words just cannot accurately desfor privilege of gratitude my husband and I feel irthe staying here at Fisher House. The entbane dexpsaieridence has overwhelmed both of us. My hus ryone for hemaking feels like royalty, and, so, I thank evey, many thanks to my sweetheart feel so special. Manfood and drink for all the generous donors who provide caring souls who all who come here. Thank you to the m lap quilts. My worked to provide the beautiful, warshirt he received. husband wil proudly wear the tee never be forgotten. The kindness bestowed on us wil r surgery for his My husband needs to have anothe help but make heart. Relaxing here tonight cannotess all who rest tomorrow bet ter. May God richly bl make us feel at here and the wonderful staff who home. Thank you from our hearts!"



grateful we are “One mil ion thank-yous could not express howdati sister for the Fisher House and the Fisher House Foune whion.le My was and I spent three weeks here at Fisher Hous ain theourfeeldad of critically il in the VA hospital. Words cannot explminutes awaiyngfrom home and the safety of the house and to be wants, and we our dad. This morning, we got the call no one minutes, thanks to were able to be by our dad’s bedside within spend dad’s last staying here at Fisher House. We were able toloved him. Fisher moments with him, telling him how much we love and be close to House, thank you for giving us a place to hold,, stays here.” our dad. God bless you and every family who “My husba nd had open -hear t surge ry recen tly. how Trave ling from Orlan do, Fla.., we were not sure long he would have to be in the hospi tal, nor where , I would stay. We were told abou t the Fishe r House but I was a bit reluct ant havin g to share a house with a lot of peopl e I did not know. But I soon learn ed, this place was amazi ng. The staff was very

welco ming and great . I made it a point to greet family memb ers of the sick veter ans every day and d ask how they were doing . So, every day, we share our story and the updat e of our loved ones. We nd talked abou t how good God is. Toda y, my husba shoul d be going to rehab in Orlan do. Than k you very much for the bless ing you are to the vets and their familie s. May God conti nue to bless Fishe r

Hous e and the staff and volun teers .”

Batter up for Fisher House! Kansas City Royals The Kansas City Royals hosted its Diamond of Dreams event in June to benefit Fisher House Foundation. Royals Charities is raising funds to help build a Fisher House in Kansas City, Mo., at the VA Medical Center. Guests of the gala, which was located on the field, enjoyed a silent auction, great food and a performance by Rachel Platten. The event raised $325,000 for the future Fisher House.

Army/Navy Game Benefits Fisher House In March, Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles, hosted a doubleheader for charity featuring the Army and Navy baseball teams. A percentage of proceeds from each ticket for the infamous Army/Navy rivalry went to Fisher House. Fisher House Foundation accepted a check at a later Orioles game from the event, which raised $14,000 for the Foundation. Photo credit: Jason Hanna with the Kansas City Royals



The Huntsman Experience 2018

Sun and Fun for Fisher House Foundation

Story and photos by Kerri Childress

Instead of a helmet and fire-retardant suit, one of NASCAR’s best drivers, Brad Keselowski, dressed up in a bite suit and began running from an attack dog — but not fast enough. Within seconds, the dog caught up with him, jumped on his back and knocked him down. No, this wasn’t a fast-action movie; it was part of the dog demonstration during this year’s Huntsman Experience outside of Detroit to help benefit the future Fisher House in Ann Arbor, Mich. The demonstration was one of several activities in which more than 125 guests participated. Events included sporting clays, skeet shooting, archery, hunting, fly-fishing, servicedog demonstrations and off-road driving in a Ford Super Duty or Ford Raptor truck. The weather was perfect, and the grounds were beautiful; only the constant sounds of gunshots broke the serenity. Most importantly, it was part of Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation’s support to build a Fisher House in Ann Arbor. “Over the past couple of years, I’ve personally



witnessed the unbelievable work the Fisher House Foundation does and the comfort that they strive to provide families of our injured heroes,” Brad recently wrote. “Fisher House is truly making a difference in the lives of those who have sacrificed greatly for our country.” Along with Brad, Team Penske NASCAR drivers Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman and Ryan Blaney also competed in the various activities to provide a unique experience. “Fisher Houses are built on partnerships, and Checkered Flag Foundation is one of the strongest and pre-eminent friendships that we have,” said Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO at Fisher House Foundation. “We want to say a heartfelt thank you to Brad and his team. Your efforts will touch thousands of lives and will continue to do so for decades.”

Mary ne i d i s n Co ff of Sta Chief , Maryland ville


MEET The Staff

Fisher House Foundation is comprised of many passionate and talented people. Each issue, you’ll meet someone who helps contribute to our mission of supporting our military, veterans and their families.

Mary B. Considine Chief of Staff “There is so much they do for us, serving throughout the world, often in harm’s way, just to protect all of us…” Those words, recorded in that Brooklyn, N.Y., accent with those extra R’s that stretched “world” into two syllables, were the first time I heard Zachary Fisher’s voice. In it, I heard the same gravelly tone of my grandpa. He was also born, raised and buried in New York City. Listening to Zach, I could imagine sitting with grandpa on the stoop in Queens as he told us stories about growing up. But he never told us stories about being a young man serving in the Pacific Theatre during World War II— a moment in history that forever changed millions of lives. He was a quiet man who felt that service to his country, his church and his family were the most important achievements in life. Those principles were nothing to talk about. They were simply guideposts for how to live. It was much later in life that I understood how humble grandpa was. When I sit at a dining room table in a Fisher House, I often feel like I’m in the presence of men and women whom my veteran grandfather would have called his neighbors. From various hometowns across the nation, the veterans we serve at Fisher House left what was known and comfortable to stand for a higher purpose. Now it’s our turn to show how much we appreciate them. After nearly 15 years of working at Fisher House, the best part of my job will always be those shared moments in the kitchen or out on the back patio. I can listen to the stories of the men and women who have worn this nation’s uniform and say thank you to their families who stand by their side. THE PATRIOT • VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 • 2018




Military service members, veterans and their families are supported by countless organizations that acknowledge their sacrifices. We feature a top-tier organization each issue.


For 50 years, the National Military Family Association has been a leading champion for families whose loved ones serve our country. NMFA gives scholarships to military spouses so they can begin, continue and complete their education and reach their career goals. With 38 percent of military spouses underemployed and 23 percent unemployed, helping a spouse acquire the skills it takes to achieve financial stability strengthens the entire family. NMFA has distributed more than $4.4 million to military spouses, thanks to generous donors like Fisher House Foundation, who have supported NMFA’s scholarship program since 2008. “I am honored to be a member of the special club called ‘military spouses.’ I appreciate your recognition and support of us and our families as we continue to support our service members and simultaneously pursue our own goals.” –Sherry, Navy spouse and NMFA/Fisher House scholarship recipient NMFA’s annual legislative priorities ensure an informed, unified voice on the issues that matter to military families. NMFA has affected policy changes to help wounded service members and their spouses dealing with infertility, terminally ill military children in hospice and all military families coping with the financial strains of military life. NMFA’s Operation Purple® Programs serve thousands of military family members each year: • Free weeklong Operation Purple® Camps give military children the opportunity to enjoy outdoor adventures and build enduring friendships with kids experiencing similar challenges. • Operation Purple Family Retreats® help families renew and maintain bonds after long separations. • Operation Purple Healing Adventures® are retreats designed to help families of the wounded, ill or injured. To learn more, visit 12


Fisher House Foundation is privileged to have amazing managers at our Fisher Houses. These professionals do a wonderful job taking care of the families that call Fisher House “a home away from home.”

Jenny Hall

JBER Hospital Fisher House, Anchorage Story by Ashley Estill Photos by Tracey Martiny

Jenny Hall lived in Alaska during her high school years, and it was 24 years later that she went “back home to Alaska.” Her husband was stationed in Alaska in 2005, and Jenny was thrilled to share this new adventure with her entire family. Before becoming a Fisher House manager, Jenny worked with TriWest as a beneficiary service education representative, traveling throughout Alaska to explain benefit issues to service members. She also has a hospitality degree, so when the manager position became available in 2013, Jenny jumped at the opportunity to combine her expertise to support service members, veterans and their families. “We love our Fisher House families,” Jenny said. “I truly feel like we’re an extended part of their family. I love when they call me on vacation to just say they’re thinking about me. Those are my favorite moments.”

“They’re an amazing team,” Jenny said. “Tracey and Melissa each have different gifts and talents that complement each other, so we are a well-oiled machine!” Jenny’s hard work not only impacts her Fisher House, but those other homes and managers within the Air Force Fisher House program too. Jenny has helped to improve processes and policies in conjunction with Air Force management. “Our Air Force community is so close-knit,” she said. “I feel blessed with the support we have at the Foundation level and Air Force level, and my local team. We can’t love our families and support them without feeling such compassion and commitment from all my teams. This is home for me.”

Jenny currently manages two Fisher Houses at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. The first Fisher House, a 12-suite home, opened in 2012, but quickly became full, as the need was so great. A second Fisher House, a 16-suite home, was just opened, giving Jenny the opportunity to serve more military families. Managing the homes takes more than one person, Jenny said. She is proud of the two women who help her—Tracey Martiney and Melissa Roediger. She also has a strong group of volunteers who make life better for the families daily.




Air Force Family Finds Calm During Son’s Medical Crisis Story by Erika Chwalik Photos by Craig Orsini

Senior Master Sgt. Richard (Joe) Chwalik is currently stationed at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., with his sons, Jeremy and Joey, and his daughter Adale. He has one other daughter, Jordyn, who lives in Texas. Senior Master Sgt. Chwalik has been in the Air Force for more than 21 years and served in Iraq, as well as two tours in Afghanistan. His wife, Erika, also served in the Air Force for more than six years. The following is their Fisher House story, as told by Erika. We lived in Ramstein, Germany, when our son Jeremy was born in 2013. Both his dad and I were in the Air Force, when we soon learned that Jeremy most likely had Down syndrome, but more medically emergent was that he had a complete atrioventricular canal defect and a ventricular septal defect — two congenital heart issues— and a talipes equinovarus (club foot). It was determined that Jeremy needed the care of a pediatric cardiologist as soon as possible, and the best course of action would be to relocate Jeremy to a stateside medical facility immediately. I was told to pack my bags as though I would not be returning. Meanwhile, Jeremy’s dad would remain in Germany with our other son, Joey, until they could join us at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center near Washington, D.C. Six hours post-birth, I was discharged to pack, and the next day Jeremy and I were on a C-17. We arrived at Walter Reed close to midnight. After he was settled in the NICU at 3 a.m., I was given a room at the Fisher House. Folks there ensured I had everything I needed and made the stay, the culture shock of being back in the States and the worry about what was going to happen to our newborn easier—we did not have to worry about a hotel or transportation; even meals were provided. Jeremy was transferred to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth VA after Walter Reed. Our family was still without a home, and, once again, the Fisher House picked us up and took us in. We stayed for a month here, and we were offered the same comforts of home. We met families who also were struggling. Most importantly, we were together as a family. 14


Above left to right: Erika Chwalik gives a snack to Jeremy in the gazebo out back of the Portsmouth, Va. Fisher House. The Chwalik family takes a break for a family photo: Adale, Joey, Erika, Senior Master Sgt. Joe Chwalik with Jeremy, and Jordyn. Jeremy joins in for a nighttime reading with his dad and Joey.

Four years later, Jeremy was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. His initial stay in the hospital was for one month. During this stay, we were offered the use of the Fisher House; however, we elected to travel back and forth because our other child was still in school. Jeremy had one other hospitalization between January and June. During this hospitalization, Jeremy was given hospital privileges, which meant he could walk around the grounds of the hospital. There is not much around the hospital for a 4-year-old boy to do to expend energy, so we asked the manager at the Fisher House if he could use the play area (dedicated for Fisher House residents only). The Fisher House granted the request and made what was otherwise a stressful time a little less so because he could go play and do “normal” things.

Photos left and right: Senior Master Sgt. Richard (Joe) Chwalik plays with his son Jeremy at the playground behind the Portsmouth, VA, Fisher House.

From June to July 2017, Jeremy entered intensification phase for his leukemia treatment. This phase required a 60-day hospital stay. Because there was no school, during this time, we readily accepted the invitation to once again stay at the Fisher House. Without the Fisher House, it would have meant sitting for hours in traffic. Staying at the Fisher House allowed our family to remain a family unit and see each other more frequently, which also helped Jeremy—he loves his brother very much! We also were able to be in a home setting that offered privacy, stocked kitchens and the ability to sleep in a comfortable bed—hospital beds are the worst! Since Jeremy’s birth five years ago, the Fisher House has been a saving grace when we least expected it. The individuals that run these houses have continuously greeted us with open arms and allowed us to stay in their houses to lessen the stress of the many medical issues Jeremy has had. Bottom line, a Fisher House allows you to have a normal life in an abnormal circumstance. Our family is forever grateful for this organization.



Air Force Fisher House Managers Support Warrior Games Compiled and Photos by Ashley Estill

The 2018 Warrior Games were hosted by the Air Force and held at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. The games are not only an inspiration to the athletes and families, but to our Air Force Fisher House managers who were there to help. We asked some of the managers what it meant to be there. Here are their responses. At the Dover Fisher House, with its special mission, we only see families at their

This is an amazing event, and I’m so happy and grateful to be part of Warrior Games.

most devastating time. [The Fisher House at Dover AFB is where families stay when

Being here, talking to the families and athletes, is wonderful and means a lot to me.

their loved one makes the ultimate sacrifice.] It’s nice seeing the other side of things at Warrior Games. I see the service members and their families, and how they’ve

—  Ivana Jordovic Manager of the Fisher House at David Grant USAF Medical Center, Calif.

overcome their injuries with their families by their side. They’ve made it.

— Tech. Sgt. Dorothy Whitfield Manager of Fisher House for Families of the Fallen at Dover AFB, Del. Coming to the Warrior Games gives us satisfaction to see wounded warriors moving on in their lives. Their families are involved, and Fisher House was part of the healing process. Adaptive sports is one of the best things these warriors can do. Children are seeing their dads or moms coming back from war, wounded— but now they’re in the healing stage and they’re together. Being together — that’s the healing process.

—  Larry Vetter Manager of the Fisher House at Keesler Medical Center in Biloxi, Miss. It’s great to be here working for the families who come into the Fisher House. They’re in a much better place now, and we get to see how far they’ve come. They’ve always been strong; it’s just a better time for them now.

—  Marc Ambrose Manager of the Fisher House at Eglin Air Force Hospital, Fla. Photos: Throughout the week Air Force Fisher House managers helped out during each exciting event, ensuring families had a wonderful time. 16


This has been a celebration. Seeing the athletic achievements of these warriors at the top of their game is amazing.

—  Karen Healea Manager of the Fisher House at Wright-Patterson Medical Center, Ohio

Children at Warrior Games Are the Biggest Fans Story and Photos by Kerri Childress

The Warrior Games are an inspiration to anyone who witnesses these amazing athletes, especially their families. In 2011, Fisher House Foundation founded the Warrior Games Family Program, sponsoring two family members per athlete — flights, hotel rooms and food—at each of the Games. Here are some of the children who attended the 2018 Warrior Games at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Meet Westley, 5; Bradley, 7; and Riley, 8,

who are the sons of Kari and Air Force Master Sgt. Alexander Bustard. Master Sgt. Bustard was injured in Iraq when the convoy he was in ran over an IED. Stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Portsmouth, Va., the family drove all the way to Colorado to be there to cheer their dad on at track, shooting and swimming.

Meet Lilia, 3; Malia, 8; and Aramis, 12, who are the children of Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Dorian and Navy Corpsman First Class Lilia Gardner. Among numerous other injuries, Gunnery Sgt. Dorian was hit by a mortar in Afghanistan, losing his left eye. Stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calf.., the family said they wouldn’t have missed the Warrior Games for anything. “I love watching my dad run and swim,” said Aramis. “He is the best.”

Meet 2-year-old twins Vivian and Larry, and Cora, 3, who are the children of Alexander

and Kelly Plowman. Marine veteran Plowman did two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, where he was injured by an IED. Kelly and the kids wore T-shirts that read “TEAM GUNNY PLOWMAN” on the front and “WHAT A SWEET TREAT HE IS” on the back.



Hearts in the Community Proud Supporters Riding for a Cause To celebrate his 80th birthday, Bob “The Geezer Biker” Agnes decided to celebrate with a once-in-a-lifetime road trip, raising funds and awareness for Fisher House Foundation. Starting in Washington, D.C., at the end of May, Geezer Bob donned his signature 8-Ball helmet and rode his Harley Davidson Road Glide Special for 48 days, covering more than 14,000 miles across the lower 48 states. Along the way, he visited state capitals and local Harley Davidson dealerships. Geezer Bob finished the ride in Albany, N.Y., in July, in time to celebrate his milestone birthday. We are so proud of his accomplishments and are grateful for his dedication to our service members, veterans and their families.

Golfing for Good When Richard Cacioppe reached out to the Foundation to say there was going to be a fundraiser at the Vineyards Country Club in Naples, Fla., he had no idea how successful the event would be. With a significant goal of $15,000 for a first-year event, the amazing folks who coordinated, sponsored and supported it went on to far exceed those expectations, raising over $82,000 for Fisher House Foundation. Their efforts will go a long way to help us continue our important mission. Thank you to everyone who supported this incredible first-year event! If you would like to host a golf tournament for Fisher House, please contact us at

World’s Largest Golf Outing On Aug. 6, the World’s Largest Golf Outing was held at courses throughout the United States. Golfers signed up to raise funds and awareness for the Foundation at this annual event. Since the partnership began in 2016, the World's Largest Golf Outing has raised over $1 million dollars to build new Fisher Houses. Thank you to everyone who participated in this event!



Corporate and Foundation Giving Fisher House Foundation is the beneficiary of many generous gifts. Here, we highlight companies that continue to support the Fisher House program.

Fisher House Foundation celebrated its 15th Annual Fisher House Golf Classic on May 7, 2018. Two hundred and fifty golfers enjoyed a beautiful day on the course and music performed by Randy Ashcraft. Randy and his wife, Lisa, have been committed supporters of Fisher House, raising thousands of dollars by hosting fundraising events. Lisa serves on the event’s steering committee and leads the silent and live auction efforts. The couple’s efforts, in addition to those of all the golfers, staff and volunteers, equal an amazing day of raising funds and awareness for military and veterans’ families. Kyra Phillips of ABC News and John Roberts of FOX News Channel emceed the evening program, and the Honorable Robert Wilkie, secretary of the VA, provided keynote remarks, including touching words about Fisher House families. Golf committee member Steve Janaszak, a backup goalie for the men's ice hockey tournament at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., donated a signed photo of the winning team's celebration. The photo was auctioned off at the live auction after a viewing of the team's emotional victory. An amazing $840,000 was raised from 60 steadfast and new Fisher House supporters, including the tournament's founding sponsor SAP. Fisher House Foundation could not do what we do without the support of everyone who made this year’s tournament a great success.

Corporate Sponsors of Fisher House Hero Jerky provided some of its jerky to Golf Classic players to enjoy. A portion of each bag of Hero brand jerky supports Fisher House Foundation.



HOUSEROUNDUP 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 world, submitted by our managers. ALASKA

JBER HOSPITAL Elmendorf AFB As written by Jenny Hall, manager AK Fisher House There was a Vietnam veteran fighting cancer at the Fisher House from the North Pole in 2013. After months of treatment, it was determined that he would not survive his cancer. He was preparing to return to the North Pole, when I overheard him speaking with another veteran in the kitchen. The second veteran asked him, “What is the one thing you would like to do before it's over?” The cancer patient, now wheelchair-bound, replied, “You know, I would love to fish again. I used to tie my own flies and fly-fish. I would like to do that again.” I heard about Project Healing Waters, an organization volunteering on base whose mission is to provide healing to combat veterans through fishing, and, specifically, fly-fishing. I contacted Project Healing Waters leadership, and within 24 hours of contact, Project Healing Waters responded with a gentleman from their organization who would be willing to come to the Fisher House and tie flies with the veteran. David Rooker came to the Fisher House several times over the next couple of weeks and tied with the veteran, eventually going fishing. Little did David know, he was making the veterans dying wish come true. While he was tying with that veteran, other Fisher House guests joined in. Quickly, fly-tying night at Fisher House became a favorite night of the week, and after the original veteran was gone, David stayed on at Fisher House. Over the past five years, he has tied flies with literally hundreds of guests. About a year ago, David brought his wife, Carolyn, to the Fisher House team. As a retired school teacher, she had amazing creative ideas for school-age children to spend time at medical appointments. In May 2017, Fisher House welcomed an active-duty Air Force family from Eielson AFB whose 10-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. This family had eight home-schooling children. Carolyn provided age-appropriate educational activity packets for the children. David tied flies with the patient whenever she was not hospitalized, providing her with an activity unrelated to her illness, allowing her mind to concentrate on the delicacy of the fly she was tying and to dream of the fish she would catch. When she finally finished chemotherapy (which was successful), there was a celebration at Fisher House. David presented this little girl, now 11 years old and full of hope for brighter days, her very own fly-tying kit to take home with her. She will be able to continue to learn the skills David taught her and think about that big fish waiting to be caught. This is a very special couple who is dear to our hearts. We love and appreciate them, and feel blessed to have them on our team.





 OUTHERN ARIZONA VA S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM Tucson The SAVAHCS Fisher House would like to recognize our DAR volunteers, an amazing group of ladies who prepare gourmet meals and desserts for our families. The love and attention they dedicate by meal planning, grocery shopping and preparing meals has touched many hearts. These ladies are here once a week, and their passion and smiles make it feel like a holiday meal every time. Along with weekly volunteering, they are always going above and beyond by preparing meals and desserts for our Fisher House events. We are incredibly grateful to have them as part of our Fisher House family.

The Gainesville Fisher House welcomed Rear Adm. William Greene, director of fleet maintenance for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, who visited our home April 10. He is a graduate of the University of Florida’s ROTC program and returned to the area to visit the VAMC and the Fisher House. He stayed at the Fisher House in Germany when his son was born and understands the importance of our mission. He was very impressed with our medical center and certainly the Fisher House. It was more than 20 years ago, but the impression it made on his family is something that he has not forgotten. He spoke with several guests and visited our inpatients.



SAN DIEGO NAVAL MEDICAL CENTER San Diego Staff and volunteers from Wounded Warrior Project spent the afternoon beautifying the grounds at Fisher House II. They donated mulch in partnership with Home Depot and lunch from Jersey Mike’s Subs. Their efforts also involved disassembling old and assembling new furniture for the garden areas. Our families will enjoy the newly revitalized outdoor spaces!

Lori Newberg found herself parked in front of the Rocky Mountain Fisher House in Denver, and her thoughts turned to her high school friend and wounded warrior Master Sgt. Mark Allen, USA (Ret.), whose family spent many months at the James A. Haley VA Hospital’s Fisher House in Tampa. Seeing the house and knowing what Mark and his family endured during an arduous rehabilitation, she decided to hold a fundraiser to benefit the Tampa House. Living at the foot of the Rockies inspired her to raise the money by gathering a group of fit, patriotic friends to hike Grays Peak, one of the two tallest peaks on the Continental Divide. In doing so, they obtained pledges in the amount of $1,500 and, this spring, made the hike and sent a wonderful donation in that amount to the Tampa House. In Lori’s own words, “It was my way of saying that Mark and all our active military, veterans and their families are not forgotten.” The victorious summit picture helps us grasp the coldness of the adventure, but the smiles on their faces spread nothing but warmth and love. Lori’s kindness is a perfect example of how the circle of love for our Fisher House families extends beyond individual guests and donors, and truly embraces each house and each family we’re privileged to serve!





objects and to tell a story. Hines Fisher House was his first house to “uplift,” and he did it with love!

Silver Spring


A letter left by a NICU family…

The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 43 in Aiken, S.C., surprised the Augusta Fisher House families for Mother’s Day with a wonderful chicken spaghetti dinner with all the trimmings. Veteran Shirley Mozell really showed off her professional decorating and catering skills by dressing up the Fisher House kitchen, as well as each dining room table, for everyone to enjoy the delicious food. Some of her buffet trimmings consisted of homemade cheesy jalapeno pretzel bites, spinach pinwheels, sweet potato cupcakes, caramel apple pie and so much more. DAV Chapter 43 has been providing dinners for our residents ever since the first year the house was opened, six and a half years ago.

Mr. Borde, My family and I would like to personally thank you and your team for the absolutely amazing hospitality that you all showed my family during our stay at your Fisher House. We would also like to thank you for opening up your “home” for us. People like you and your team are truly amazing and speak to the sound conclusion that the world still has great, caring and helpful people in it.



Pictured are veterans and servers Robert Dandridge, Henry Spiller and, of course, veteran and caterer Shirley Mozell.

In June, we held an open house and were surprised with an unexpected visit: Kim and Don Hudgins, who stayed with us for six months in 2006, stopped in to say happy anniversary. As Kim walked through the front doors, she said “it feels like coming home”—even after 12 years. The couple is proof that our Fisher House guests are always part of our family.








Hines Fisher House was “Uplifted” by local Chicago photographer Kentaro Yamada. Yamada uses his project #theuplifted to highlight joy, successes and positivity through a collection of portraits of everyday leaders and inspirational people. His project initially focused on Chicago visionaries, but has now reached other corners of the world. He uses his creativity to “uplift” everyday

On May 25, Rolling Thunder rolled on to the Fisher House campus. What a scene it was, having over 25 motorcycles and veterans visit Fisher House. These veterans took a tour of the Fisher House and visited with guests, giving the families a break from the situation to which they were attending. The veterans shared stories with the families and got a new understanding of what we do. There were smiles for days after these folks left.


Our son was released from Walter Reed NICU, and he is doing quite well with his feedings, weight gains and just all-around life. The work you do is nothing short of an amazing miracle, and we are truly honored to have been guests at your location. I know I spoke to you about donations, and you stated that you accept all sorts of donations; my family and I would like to make it personal, so please advise what items—whether it be food, supplies, monetary—your Fisher House or its residents need. We want to make sure that we donate things that people need. Again, sir, it was an honor and a privilege to be tenants of your Fisher House, and words cannot express our level of gratitude.


MINNEAPOLIS VA HEALTH CARE SYSTEM Minneapolis Minneapolis celebrated Mother’s Day with cupcakes, fun gifts from community partners and a barbecue. Our housekeeper cleaned the rooms for the day, then took over the grill and cleaned up afterward. We made sure our moms and guests had the best day possible!




KEESLER AFB HOSPITAL Keesler AFB Leadership from the 81st Training Wing and Fisher House Foundation celebrated the opening of Fisher House II at Keesler AFB, Miss., Feb. 6. Since opening Keesler's first Fisher House, the eighth in the inventory in 1992, there have been more than 7,000 families served at Keesler AFB, representing a combination of retirees, active duty and family members who find themselves in need of medical care. With the opening of Keesler’s second Fisher House, 16 additional guest rooms are now available for patients and family members.

On June 14, the VA Southern Nevada Fisher House hosted over 30 volunteers from eight different Kohl’s stores around Las Vegas. One of the store managers, Kat Zagajeski, reached out to us because the store was interested in partnering with a military support organization for the month of June. For every five volunteers who gave three hours of service, Kohl’s also provides a grant of $500, but this month, the grant was doubled to $1,000. Since we had over 30 volunteers, we could receive a grant of $6,000 for our Fisher House. The Kohl’s Care volunteers helped us mark and put away new linens, deep-clean around the house and decorate our Fisher House tote bags for our guests. It was a great experience for everyone!

with guests and deliver a donation. The very next afternoon, a local business, the Arsenal City Tavern, held a country music event featuring bands and other activities to raise funds for our Fisher House. When you step back and take all of this in, you realize not only how fortunate we are to be the recipients of all of this goodwill, but how our message and our families touch all areas of the community. Right here within a days’ time, people from a large corporation, a veteran service organization and a small business stepped up in support of military families! Our team in Albany would like to express our deep appreciation to these groups and all others who provide assistance to our home.


CAMP LEJEUNE NAVAL HOSPITAL Camp Lejeune The local chapter of the Sigma Beta Club gathered household and toiletry items for the Camp Lejeune Fisher House recently. Sigma Beta Club is a Greek youth auxiliary organization of young men who learn leadership and cultural and community awareness through mentorship, which helps to develop members into future leaders.


STRATTON VA MEDICAL CENTER Albany A recent 24-hour time frame here at the Albany Fisher House reminds us how our mission resonates in the local community, and the community generously supports our homes. On June 8, a large contingent from our local Deloitte offices worked hard to complete a major upgrade to our gardens, including new mulch, stones, flowers and trees. In addition, these kind folks prepared a delicious meal for our guests. While all of this was going on, our friends from The American Legion Riders Post #1092 stopped by to visit

VA PORTLAND HEALTH CARE SYSTEM Vancouver To provide a creative outlet for guests, Terri Mcguigan hosted a “Rock Painting” party for the families. She supplied the rocks and paints and shared her creativity. Guests enjoyed themselves immensely as they took a brief break from their current situations. One guest mentioned how she was grateful that her daughter could keep her mind off her health for a while. Additional ways our volunteers provide a home environment is by preparing meals or snacks. Families spend most of their time at the hospital during the day, and the last thing on their mind is planning a meal. By the time they return from THE PATRIOT • VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 • 2018


HOUSEROUNDUP the hospital, volunteers have prepared a delicious meal that is waiting for them. It touches the hearts of our volunteers, as well as those of the families. Thank you, volunteers, for all your support!


FORT BELVOIR COMMUNITY HOSPITAL Ft. Belvoir Tanner, as part of his Eagle Scout project, partnered with the local Giant grocery store in his hometown of Springfield, Va.. With help from the Giant store manager, his fellow scouts in Troop 995 and his family, he gathered two carloads of donations.



donation was over $12,000, but what was additionally monumental was they met their organization’s goal of having donated over $100,000 to the Fisher House Portsmouth since the partnership began. This is a huge milestone for the area’s motorcycle community and local community at large. The Fisher House Portsmouth salutes and thanks you for your hearts of love and compassion as you assist us in caring for our national treasures: our service members, veterans and their families.

Our friends Micaya and Haley put in over 50 hours of work for their Silver Award. Micaya collected items for our pantry, and Haley put together some warm and snuggly no-sew blankets for our guests. Both girls belong to Troop 550. Thank you to all the Scouts in our community that donate time, effort, warm blankets, plants and planters, DVD shelves and carloads of consumables. Please know we are truly grateful for all of you who love our Fisher House.

Lackland AFB Lackland Fisher House has been busy redecorating House I for the guests. All efforts were spent in the house to bring an inviting feel, calm essence and the perfect healing environment for guests. The guests are pleased with the changes, and the updates are never-ending here. Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher gave us our mission, and their legacy lives on!

Photo by Brandon Davis, visual information specialist, McGuire VA Medical Center

NAVAL MEDICAL CENTER, PORTSMOUTH Portsmouth In May, the Salty Dawg Motorcycle Riding Club of Virginia hosted its 12th Annual Poker Run in honor and support of the Fisher House Portsmouth. The Salty Dawgs have been volunteers at this Fisher House since 2006, donating over 6,000 hours. At this annual event, help is solicited from other motorcycle clubs, local organizations and businesses to ride in support of the cause. Silent auctions are held, and the proceeds are presented to the Fisher House at a check presentation ceremony. This year’s 24


HUNTER HOLMES MCGUIRE RICHMOND VA MEDICAL CENTER Richmond Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, spoke to the family member of an inpatient veteran at McGuire VA Medical Center during his visit to the Richmond Fisher House May 26. There is a Fisher House at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, U.K., and it was dedicated by Prince Charles. Prince Harry has also visited the home and special families who stay there. Richmond Fisher House was one of several stops for Prince Richard, the first cousin to Queen Elizabeth,

during a recent visit to Virginia’s capital. The shared experience of caring for veterans and their family members has blossomed into a friendship for Fisher House and the U.K. Members of the British royal family lend their names and much of their time to charitable causes all over the world. Some of Prince Richard’s patronages include humanitarian issues, environmental causes, and military and veterans.

Ways to


this Holiday Season



As you begin to think about gifts this holiday season, here are a few ways to support military families:

Fisher House, the “home away from home” for military patients and their families at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, is celebrating five years of being open. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham is the receiving hospital for all the U.K.’s military patients when they are injured or fall ill anywhere around the world. Fisher House allows military patients and their families to stay, free of charge, in comfortable accommodations that give families privacy during a tricky time while allowing them to socialize with other families who are going through a similar experience. On behalf of QEHB, the people who work there and all those who have stayed there, we would like to wish Fisher House a very happy fifth anniversary.

FACEBOOK FUNDRAISERS: If you are hosting a fundraising event, or celebrating a birthday, you can raise funds and awareness for Fisher House Foundation on Facebook.

TRIBUTE: This holiday season, you can make a donation in honor of your loved one, and Fisher House will send an acknowledgement to your loved one. FREQUENT FLYER MILES: Donate your airline miles to help Fisher House provide airline tickets to wounded, injured and ill service members and their loved ones in support of their continued recovery process. Visit to learn how to donate.

+ ++ +++

HOTEL POINTS: Donate your hotel reward points to help us provide hotel rooms to families of wounded, injured and ill service members when a Fisher House is not available.

SECURITIES: Fisher House accepts stocks and other securities, including IRA distribution rollovers.

PLANNED GIVING: Leave a lasting legacy supporting military families with a bequest to Fisher House Foundation. VEHICLE: Get rid of an unwanted car, truck, RV, boat or plane — running or not. Donating is a free, fast, friendly and hassle-free alternative to selling or trading. You will receive a tax benefit. Fisher House Foundation participates in the V-DAC program

To learn more visit, Don’t forget you can make a donation in support of Fisher House Foundation via the Combined Federal Campaign! Fisher House Foundation CFC code 11453



DEDICATIONS & GROUNDBREAKINGS: • CONNECTICUT FISHER HOUSE • ALASKA FISHER HOUSE II • VA MAINE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM FISHER HOUSE West Haven, Conn. DEDICATING Connecticut Fisher House A 16-suite Fisher House was dedicated at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven in May this year, becoming the first Fisher House in the state of Connecticut. Millions were raised for construction from the Connecticut community, making this home a reality for so many veterans and their families. Alaska Fisher House II In 2012, we opened a Fisher House at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. The house quickly became full, and Fisher House Foundation realized there was a need for a second home to support so many military families. In September, we opened a second home, a 16-suite Fisher House that can accommodate up to 32 additional family members.

West Haven, Conn.

GROUNDBREAKINGS VA Maine Healthcare System Fisher House Ground was broken for a 16-suite Fisher House at the VA Maine Healthcare System on Aug. 8. This will be the first Fisher House in the state of Maine and is anticipated to be completed in 2019. Togus is the site of the first Veterans Home established by President Lincoln after the Civil War. It's going to be a great addition to the community and is much needed.

A nc h ora

g e, A l a s k


a To g u s, M


Anchorage, Alaska

West Haven, Conn. 26




At Fisher House Foundation, we have community groups throughout the country who support their local Fisher House or raise funds and awareness for a future Fisher House in their area. Here are some highlights.

Joint Base Andrews, MD

Bishop McNamara High School Baseball Team Supports Joint Base Andrews Fisher House On April 14, the Bishop McNamara High School baseball team held its fourth annual Military Appreciation Game at its home field, PG Sports Park, in Bowie, Md. Prior to the game this year, the team sponsored a school dress-down day, with all proceeds benefiting a military charity. Each student could dress down from his or her traditional maroon and gold uniforms for $3. The team raised an amazing $2,300 and presented a check at the game for its charity of choice, the Joint Base Andrews Fisher House Inc., to help military families who are faced with a medical crisis. These students represent our future leaders, and we couldn't be more proud and appreciative. Thank you BMHS Baseball for your support of our mission.

Bronx , NY The Friends of Fisher House of Greater N.Y. The Friends of the Fisher House of Greater N.Y. is proud to report the ongoing construction at the Bronx Fisher Houses. We eagerly look forward to each day of progress, and, before too long, we will be celebrating the dedication of these homes.





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



JBER Hospital I, II 4943 Zeamer Ave. 673 MDSS/SGS/FH JBER, AK 99506 (907) 222-1673 Manager: Jenny Hall

Fisher House for Families of the Fallen 220 Lajes St. Dover AFB, DE 19902 (302) 677-5317 Manager: TSgt. Dorothy Whitfield

ARIZONA Southern Arizona VA Health Care System 3601 S. 6th Ave. (9-135) Tucson, AZ 85723 (520) 838-3680 Manager: Kelly Laurich

The following projects are currently in design


or under construction:

David Grant USAF Medical Center I, II 100 Bodin Circle Travis AFB, CA 94535-1804 (707) 423-7550 fax: (707) 423-7552 Manager: Ivana Jordovic

James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital

Palo Alto, Calif. (second house)

VA Palo Alto Health Care System

VA Maine Healthcare System Togus, Maine New Mexico Health Care System Albuquerque, N.M. James J. Peters VA Medical Center Bronx, N.Y. (two houses) Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center Cleveland, Ohio (two houses) Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center Richmond, Va. (second house) Huntington VA Medical Center Huntington, W.Va.

Tampa, Fla. (second house)

VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System 11301 Wilshire Blvd. (10AF) Bldg. 523 Los Angeles, CA 90073 (310) 268-4457 fax: (310) 268-3499 Manager: Erma Mickens VA Palo Alto Health Care System 3801 Miranda Ave. Palo Alto, CA 94304 (650) 493-5000 x. 60384 fax: (650) 849-1269 Manager: Tracy Marino Naval Medical Center San Diego I, II 34800 Bob Wilson Drive Bldg. 46 San Diego, CA 92134-5000 (619) 532-9055 fax: (619) 532-5216 Asst. Manager: Lori Erickson Naval Hospital Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Bldg. 2014 San Jacinto Road Camp Pendleton, CA 92055 (760) 763-5308 Manager: Vicky Powell-Johnson VA Long Beach Healthcare System 5901 East 7th St. (FH) Long Beach, CA 90822 (562) 826-5905 Manager: Eddie Gibbs

COLORADO VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System 1954 Quentin St. Aurora, CO 80010 (303) 399-8020 x. 2049 fax: (303) 364-4882 Manager: Tessa Levy

CONNECTICUT VA Connecticut Healthcare System 950 Campbell Ave. Mail Code 135 West Haven, CT 06516 (203) 937-3438 Manager: Amanda Salthouse 28


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Washington DC VA Medical Center 50 Irving St. NW Washington, DC 20422 (202) 745-2482 Manager: Stacey Childs

FLORIDA Bay Pines VA Healthcare System 10000 Bay Pines Blvd. Bay Pines, FL 33744 (727) 398-6661 x11350 fax: (727) 319-1106 Manager: Shentrela Diggins Eglin Air Force Base Hospital 350 Boatner Road Eglin AFB, FL 32542 (850) 883-2865 Manager: Marc Ambrose James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital 13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. Tampa, FL 33612 (813) 910-3000 fax: (813) 910-3088 Manager: Paula Welenc Miami VA Healthcare System 1201 NW 16th St. Miami, FL 33125 (305) 575-7260 fax: (305) 575-7261 Acting Manager: Richie Sanchez North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System 1601 SW Archer Road Gainesville, FL 32608 (352) 548-6492 Manager: Michelle Howard Orlando VA Medical Center 13800 Veterans Way Orlando, FL 32827 (407) 631-9800 Manager: Terri Turner 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: Shelley Prickett

GEORGIA Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center One Freedom Way Augusta, GA 30904 (706) 729-5773 Manager: Courtney Deese

*Please direct all correspondence to the Zachary and Elizabeth M. Fisher House, along with the specific house address. For any questions, please contact the Fisher House manager directly at the desired location. Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center Fisher House Road - Bldg. 280 Fort Gordon, GA 30905-5650 (706) 787-7100 fax: (706) 787-5106 Manager: Francisco Cruz

HAWAII Tripler Army Medical Center I, II 315 Krukowski Road Honolulu, HI 96819 (808) 433-1291 x. 28 fax: (808) 433-3619 Manager: Anita Clingerman

ILLINOIS Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital 5000 S 5th Ave. Hines, IL 60141 (708) 202-7154 fax: (708) 202-7155 Manager: Holly Wright

KENTUCKY Blanchfield Army Community Hospital 652 Joel Drive Fort Campbell, KY 42223 (270) 798-8330 fax: (270) 798-8804 Manager: Wendy J. Carlston

MARYLAND Malcolm Grow Clinics & Surgery Center 1076 West Perimeter Road Andrews AFB, MD 20762 (301) 981-1243 fax: (301) 981-7629 Manager: Veronica Harris


VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System University Drive C, Bldg 33 Pittsburgh, PA 15240 (412) 360-2030 fax: (937) 656-2150 Manager: Heather Frantz



VA St. Louis Health Care System 1 Jefferson Barracks Road St. Louis, MO 63125 (314) 652-4100 x. 66945 fax: (314) 894-6147 Manager: Vanniecia Brown

NEVADA VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System 6900 N. Pecos Road North Las Vegas, NV 89086 (702) 224-6789 Manager: Cadie Franco

NEW YORK Albany Stratton VA Medical Center 113 Holland Ave. Albany, NY 12208 (518) 626-6919 fax: (518) 626-5452 Manager: Michael Fitzpatrick

NORTH CAROLINA Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune 4 Recovery Way Camp Lejeune, NC 28547 (910) 450-3885 fax: (910) 450-3887 Manager: Josie Cotton

Womack Army Medical Center Walter Reed National Military Medical 3120 Loop Road Center I, II, III, IV, V Fort Bragg, NC 28307-5000 24 Stokes Road (910) 432-1486 fax: (910) 432-3825 Bethesda, MD 20814-5002 Manager: Jim Dixon (301) 295-5334 fax: (301) 295-5632 Manager: Michael Ybarra


Walter Reed – Forest Glen Annex 2460 Linden Lane Bldg. 173 Silver Spring, MD 20910 (301) 319-5442 fax: (301) 328-5618 Manager: Maurice Borde

MASSACHUSETTS VA Boston Healthcare System 1400 VFW Parkway West Roxbury, MA 02132 (857) 203-4000 Manager: Elizabeth St. Pierre

MINNESOTA Minneapolis VA Health Care System I, II 1 Veterans Drive Minneapolis, MN 55417 (612) 467-5602 fax: (612) 970-5864 Manager: Jessica Peterson



Keesler Medical Center 509 Fisher St. Keesler AFB, MS 39534-2599 (228) 377-8264 fax: (228) 377-7691 Manager: Larry Vetter

Cincinnati VA Medical Center 3200 Vine St. Cincinnati, OH 45220 (513) 475-6571 fax: (513) 487-6661 Manager: Karrie Hagan Dayton VA Medical Center Fisher House, Bldg. 425 Dayton, OH 45428 (937) 268-6511 x. 2887 Manager: Betsey Striebel Wright-Patterson Medical Center I, II 417 Schlatter Drive Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433 (937) 257-0855 fax: (937) 656-2150 Manager: Karen Healea

OREGON VA Portland Health Care System 1601 E. Fourth Plain Blvd. Vancouver, WA 98661 (513) 220-8262 x. 57685 Manager: Barbara Decoito-Weaver

Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center 150 Wentworth St. Charleston, SC 29401 (843) 805-8200 Manager: Vicki Johnson

TENNESSEE Tennessee Valley Healthcare System 3400 Lebanon Pike Murfreesboro, TN 37129 (615) 225-5758 Manager: Becky Wood

TEXAS Brooke Army Medical Center I,II,III,IV San Antonio Military Medical Center 3623 George C. Beach Drive Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234 (210) 916-6000 fax: (210) 916-6488 Manager: Inge Godfrey Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Bldg. 36015 Fisher Lane Fort Hood, TX 76544 (254) 286-7927 fax: (254) 286-7929 Manager: Steve Wakefield Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center I, II, III 2002 Holcombe Blvd. Houston, TX 77030 (713) 794-8095 fax: (713) 794-7194 Manager: Frank Kelley VA North Texas Health Care System 4500 S. Lancaster Road. Bldg. 79 Dallas, TX 75216 (214) 857-2574 fax: (214) 462-4923 Manager: Lydia Henderson South Texas Veterans Health Care System 7485 Wurzbach Road San Antonio, Texas 78229 (210) 617-5300 x. 16626 Manager: Erik Zielinski 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: Philip Harralson William Beaumont Army Medical Center Bldg 7360 Rodriguez St. El Paso, TX 79930 (915) 569-1860 fax: (915) 569-1862 Manager: Alice Coleman

VA Salt Lake City Health Care System 690 S. Valdez Drive Salt Lake City, UT 84148 (801) 588-5900 Manager: Quinn Kiger-Good

VIRGINIA Fort Belvoir Community Hospital 9201 Woodbury Road Fort Belvoir, VA 22060 (703) 805-5203 Manager: Roxannamaria Calderon Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center 1201 Broad Rock Blvd. Richmond, VA 23249 (804) 675-6639 fax: (804) 675-5979 Manager: Wayne Walker Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth 853 Fisher Drive Bldg. 287 Portsmouth, VA 23708 (757) 953-6889 fax: (757) 953-7174 Manager: Jill Thompson

WASHINGTON Madigan Army Medical Center I, II 9999 Wilson Ave. Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433 (253) 964-9283 fax: (253) 968-3619 Manager: Pamela Barrington VA Puget Sound Health Care System 1660 South Columbian Way Seattle, WA 98108 (206) 768-5353 fax: (206) 277-1415 Manager: Carrie Booker

WISCONSIN Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center 5000 W. National Ave. Bldg. 150 Milwaukee, WI 53295 (414) 384-2000 x. 44570 Manager: Jennifer Kiefer

GERMANY Landstuhl Regional Medical Center I, II CMR 402 APO, AE 09180 (0011 49) 6371-9464-7430 fax: 011-49-6371-866679 Manager: Vivian Wilson

UNITED KINGDOM Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Mindelsohn Way Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham B15 2TH 0121-472-6217 fax: 0121-4130-6897 Manager: Patrick Hogan fisherhouse@uhb.nhs.



Fisher House Foundation Inc. 12300 Twinbrook Parkway Suite 410 Rockville, MD 20852



Because we

our heroes.

For more than 25 years, the Fisher House program has provided “a home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. These homes provide free temporary lodging to military and veterans’ families so they can be close to their loved one during a medical crisis, allowing them to focus on what’s important — the healing process. Due to the generosity of people like you, Fisher House Foundation is able to build and help support the operation of more than 70 existing homes, the core of our mission. Additionally, our Hero Miles program assists with travel needs, and our scholarship program offers educational opportunities to military children and spouses. With your help, we will continue to meet the needs of our military community today, and long into the future. Show your love by making a donation to Fisher House. To learn more, please visit or call (888) 294-8560.

Fisher House Foundation

CFC Code: 11453

©2018 Fisher House Foundation Creative services donated by ds+f, Washington, DC | Photo courtesy of Craig Orsini.

We Found Calm During Our Son's Medical Crisis  
We Found Calm During Our Son's Medical Crisis