The Patriot 2022 Issue 1

Page 1

2022 VOLUME 13 • ISSUE 1



Journey from Puerto Rico brings Army vet to Fisher House COVER STORY (Featured on page 16)

A wedding in two days: Palo Alto hosts special nuptials

Teacher of military children offers gift to Fisher House

Tee It Up for the Troops gets Hero Miles assist

(Story featured on page 20)

(Story featured on page 25)

(Story featured on page 12)

Contents Social Media Support


Guest Family­Profile: How the Little Things Bring Comfort


Meet the Program Manager


Meet the Staff


When A Good Friend Is Family: Veteran Leans On Old Friend at Fisher House 8 National Military Family Association Military Spouse Scholarships 9 Active-duty Marine Reflects On Fisher House Stay


Honorary Recognition for Denzel Washington 10 Hero Miles


Same Award Program, New Name


Fisher House Salutes


Newman's Own 2021 Award Grant Recipients 15 Cover Story: A Journey From Puerto Rico Brings Army Vet to Fisher House


Community Groups in Action


Hearts in the Community


A Wedding In Two Days: Palo Alto Hosts Special Nuptials


Journal Entries & Letters


Meet the Manager


Construction Updates


About Fisher House Foundation, Inc. Fisher House Foundation is best known for its network of comfort homes where military and veteran 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 veteran families an estimated $547 million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation. Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles program, using donated frequent flyer miles and funds to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members, as well as the Hotels for Heroes program, using donated hotel points and dollars to allow family members to stay without charge at hotels near medical centers. The Foundation also manages an awards program that helps 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 tax-deductible to the maximum extent permitted by law.

Fisher House Program

Teacher of Military Children Leaves Planned Gift to Fisher House Foundation 25 House Round Up


Twins of Dual Military Parents Receive Heroes’ Legacy Scholarships 31 Location Guide


BY THE NUMBERS FISHER HOUSE FOUNDATION CHAIRMAN AND CEO Kenneth Fisher PRESIDENT David A. Coker CHIEF OF STAFF Mary Considine EXECUTIVE EDITOR Michelle Horn MANAGING EDITOR David Nye COPY EDITOR Blake Stilwell LAYOUT AND ART DIRECTION Gifted Eye Designs 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: Cover photo by Craig Orsini at


Savings for families in lodging and transportation costs


Nights of lodging offered

430,000 Families served

92 Fisher Houses in operation The statistics in this graphic reflect the Fisher House program's impact since inception. 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 graphic designers at Gifted Eye Designs donate 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, Spring of 2022 is upon us, and the Foundation is excited about all that will happen this year. We are ready for new house openings and new construction projects, celebrating with our warrior athletes and their families at the Invictus Games and Warrior Games, the creation of a new online streaming event, the newly named Chairman’s Award, and so much more! Fisher House Foundation is steadily moving along our road to 100 houses. In 2022, we will construct a second house in Bay Pines, Florida, as well as new homes in Columbia, South Carolina and Lexington, Kentucky. We are also coordinating the groundbreaking for additional houses this year. These new houses will bring us to 95 Fisher Houses across the United States and overseas. The Foundation is always keeping an eye on the latest trends and technologies to provide a better experience for guests and supporters. We have partnered with The Giving Block to accept cryptocurrency, FreeWill to provide complimentary wills valid in all 50 states, and we are planning a streaming event this summer for those who fundraise online. With so much happening, you can feel the excitement in the air. As not everything is back to pre-pandemic normal, we continue to keep an eye on safety. Fisher House managers across the country maintain the highest safety protocols following military and VA guidelines while providing exemplary service for Fisher House guests. Thank you for the continued support of our military heroes and their families and your dedication to this critical mission. Sincerely,

Kenneth Fisher Chairman and CEO, Fisher House Foundation @kenfisherfhf



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 received an A+ from CharityWatch in its veterans and military category. Only three military and veteran charities currently hold this distinctive A+ rating. Charity Navigator awarded the Foundation its coveted 4-star rating for sound fiscal management for the 18th consecutive year, a rating achieved by less than 1% of the charities in the country that it monitors. Only 13 charities have been so highly rated for 18 years. We are proud to announce that the Foundation earned the 2021 Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Profile Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information. Additionally, WalletHub selected Fisher House Foundation as the Best Charity to Donate to for Veterans in 2021 and 2022.




FACEBOOK “Fisher House hugs are the best!

I miss them.” — Deona Jo Sutterfield

“My family was the beneficiary of this program a few years ago in Tampa, at Christmas time. You never forget something like this.” — Lorraine Wood McCallum “Thank you, Fisher House.” — Kimberly Gaspar “Happy New Year and may the Fisher House Foundation keep doing what you do for our veterans and their families. Thank you, from my family. ” — Marshall Gresham “So glad they were there for me!” — Debbie Henderson-Montroy “Fisher House was there for my family when we needed them most. They not only provided a nice place to stay, they provided hope and support. Thank you to the Fisher House staff at Fort Bliss and at St. Louis Jefferson Barracks VA for everything!” In Memory of PFC Corey Shackelford — Lisa Lewis-Ensey

TWITTER The Fisher House!!! These are my people. I ran 10 Marine Corps Marathons to raise money for the @FisherHouseFdtn! They do amazing work for our military families! — @CoachVedder_HPE Yes, Fisher House helped my family and I through my recovery, surgeries, and therapies with a place to call home. — @Lunaticsheep__



Gwyndolyn Gaspar and the family Shiba Inu enjoy the snow! The Gaspar Family stayed at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Fisher House when the mother, Kimberly, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. (Story in first 2021 issue of The Patriot)

LINKEDIN I was fortunate enough to stay in the Fisher house at Walter Reed Bethesda while I was in the National Intrepid Center of Excellence for Traumatic Brain Injury. It’s an amazing place. — Thomas Hutchinson Caring for those who have borne the battle — often especially the family members. Grateful we are for FHF. — David Sizemore I will always be grateful to Fisher House and their Hotels for Heroes program. Five years ago, I unexpectedly had my first son prematurely and the closest NICU in our new state put us so far from home. Fisher House made my postpartum recovery and navigating life in the NICU so much easier by offering me a hotel room so we did not have to worry about what we would do. Thank you, Fisher House, for all you do! — Macael H.

INSTAGRAM Want to see what’s happening at Fisher Houses every day? Follow us on social media. Such a great foundation! Thank you for all that you do! — thereynoldsteam_realestate God Bless you all & TEXAS families comforted by the #fisherhousefoundation. — @homheroes

JOIN THE CONVERSATION! Have you stayed at a Fisher House? Volunteered? Donated? We want to hear what Fisher House means to you! Use your phone’s camera to scan the QR code and share with us. Thank you.




How the Things Bring



Story and photos by Michelle Horn

When Cold War Navy veteran Robert Urquhart from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin took a turn for the worse, his daughter Laura traveled from Dallas, Texas to be with him. His diabetes led to an amputation of his foot, and the complications escalated. He was transferred from his local hospital to the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin via ambulance with Laura by his side. “Wow, on that first day it was scary. It was very scary for my dad because he had had an infection, he was falling, he was having hallucinations and delusions, and it was a very scary time. I wanted to ride in an ambulance with him, so he had some sort of reference.” Not knowing where she would go or where she would stay, she made the trip. Then she learned about Fisher House.



“I felt safe, I felt secure, and I felt everything here is meant to have all your needs met,” she explained. “I just felt so secure knowing that I'm a five-minute walk away and I can get up there immediately. That took away some of the stress and the worry and the fear of being too far away.” It wasn’t only the proximity that made a difference. She said that being able to have a routine each day–make a coffee, sit on the patio, pack some snacks, and then visit her dad–made a big impact. She appreciated the extra touches that made Fisher House feel like a home. “There was a quilt in the corner on a chair with a note saying it was for me,” she said. “I sleep in my (Fisher House) bed every night and it doesn't matter what the temperature is, that makes me feel comforted. And it makes me feel like I'm

Left: Laura makes coffee in the Fisher House kitchen each morning as part of her routine. Right: Laura enjoys her mornings on the Fisher House patio before visiting her father in the VA medical center. Below: The Milwaukee Fisher House staff provides a quilt and note for guests to make them feel at home.

important to somebody, because I'm up here a lot by myself and it can get lonely.” During her stay, she formed such a deep friendship with another guest that they were mistaken as being sisters. “You can build those kinds of relationships, even in a really short time, because you're in the same situation, you're both hurting, you're in a hard situation, but you're with other people that are going through the same thing,” she said. “You have that same sort of support from each other and anything that would hinder people from just speaking freely is gone because you already know why you're there, you already know it's a hard time, and you really just want to support each other.” “The staff is really good, always really helpful going out of their way,” she continued. “Jennifer [Keifer, the Fisher House manager], she really made me feel like I was somebody really important, just for being me. Maybe that's her gift, to make that one person feel like they are that important.” “I'm a long way from home. I don't have any family in the area, but I feel safe, secure, and well taken care of so that I can focus 100% on my dad.” Sadly, Robert passed away on August 21, 2021. Fisher House is honored to have provided comfort to Laura during her father’s final days. The notes attached to blankets read: Dear Fisher House Guest, This blanket was lovingly donated by a friend of Fisher House. If you use the blanket, please take it with you, with our compliments, when you leave. Warmly, Milwaukee Fisher House Staff and Volunteers



Meet the Program Manager:

Kate Deyermond, Army Fisher House Story by David Nye Photos courtesy Kate Deyermond

Army Fisher House Program Manager Kate Deyermond’s career in the Army started in an unconventional way. She was studying hospitality and needed to set up a few interviews every week for a class. After she spoke to a Navy recruiter, her mom suggested that she check another block by talking to an Army recruiter.

Kate went back to Army Lodging but remembered her challenging and rewarding time as a Fisher House manager. At Army Lodging, she learned a lot of valuable skills around renovations, modernizations, and keeping the level of service high.

“The Army has hotels around the world, and they used to train their own managers and had a lodging management training program, which was really wonderful,” Kate said. “I got selected for it and went to Shades of Green.”

When the Army Fisher House Program started looking for a new manager, Kate jumped at the opportunity and brought her new skills, along with her experience as a house manager, to bear for Army Fisher Houses across the U.S. and in Germany.

Shades of Green is a Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, solely for military and veteran families. It was Kate’s first military job, which was followed by an assignment at a club in California where she met her husband. An odd email changed her trajectory. “I got an email from the Walter Reed Army Fisher House that said I’d come up on this list, was I interested in this position?” And so Kate became a Fisher House manager at one of the busiest locations during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, leading three houses with dozens of rooms that served hundreds of families. “It was very challenging and emotional and hard, but also extremely rewarding,” she said. “Even now, to this day, I’m friends with some of the families that were there at that time.” Kate served there for two years, but the closure of Walter Reed Army Medical Center was coming, and her job would disappear with it. (The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland shares the name and lineage with WRAMC, but is a different complex than WRAMC.)



“I think I'm absolutely blessed to have had that experience, and it helps me to make better decisions now.” Kate lives in San Antonio with her husband and their 11-yearold daughter. They volunteer in the local area and play in the neighborhood bunco group.

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.

Mar s Ban hall ks

Marshall Banks

Director of Community Relations

Dire ctor of C Rela ommu nity Roc tion kvil s le , Ma


Marshall Banks joined Fisher House Foundation as the Community Liaison in 2019 following his retirement after 28 years of reserve and active duty in the U.S. Army, during which time he deployed to Iraq and served in leadership and staff positions. He comes from a military family, with one of his three brothers having served in the U.S. Marine Corps and another retired from the Army. In 2021, Marshall became the Director of Community Relations. In this role, he works with the community groups as they support existing and future houses across the country. Marshall also helps administer the Scholarships for Military Children Program, Fisher House manager support, and the Foundation's awards program. The awards program recently changed from the Newman’s Own Award to the Chairman’s Award, which recognizes innovative programs for military and veteran communities. Marshall is honored to be a part of Fisher House Foundation's mission to support our nation's military, veterans, and their families. Although, he readily admits that he did not know much about the Foundation before starting here. “I still remember exploring my various career opportunities after leaving the military and came across Fisher House Foundation. The more I learned about the mission and the 'why’ of what we do, the more I knew I had to be a part of this organization,” he said. “I could not have landed in a better place. I am blessed


to have wonderful teammates — coworkers, Fisher House managers, and Friends of Fisher House community group folks — that want to serve and make a difference.” One of Marshall’s favorite parts of his job is meeting Fisher House managers and those who help support them and the families. “I am in awe of the passion and compassion of the Fisher House managers. They carry a lot of weight on their shoulders and are key in taking care of the families, often during families' most trying times. I also can't say enough about the friends groups, made up primarily of volunteers, and how much they do to support their hosted houses and the Foundation’s mission as a whole.” Marshall enjoys cooking, reading, audiobooks, and exercising in his spare time. He and his wife, Jannifer, have two children. Their son, Marshall C., is a U.S. Army second lieutenant and is currently attending the Engineer Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Their daughter, Jannifer Katelin, is a graduating high school senior and plans to attend college this fall.



When a good friend is family:

VETERAN LEANS ON OLD FRIEND AT FISHER HOUSE Story by Michelle Horn Photos by Michelle Horn and courtesy Dennis McCluskey

We are often warmed by the stories of friendships formed while families stay at a Fisher House to be there for their loved ones, but sometimes the friendships in Fisher Houses begin long before a veteran needs care. “If the person that a veteran needs to be by their side is a husband, wife, daughter, son, nephew, aunt, or even a good friend, we will be there for them,” said Ken Fisher, chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation. “What is most important is having the right person there to support the veteran or military service member so they can focus on getting better.” Navy veteran Dennis McCluskey, Sr. who served in the early 70s, and Marine Corps veteran Timothy Hughes, who served in the early 80s, met while Dennis was working at a country club and they’ve remained friends for years. In 2001, the two became business partners, opening a campground in Three Lakes, Wisconsin. “We had a great time. We revamped the campground. We made it from a small place to a big place, from 32 seasonal units to 129,” said Dennis. “The deer were out every day.” After selling the campground in 2010, the two friends saw each other less. Then the COVID-19 pandemic prevented visits. “When he came up to see me, my father had passed away and then my mother passed away, he came up to the funeral,” continued Dennis. “I couldn't travel because of dialysis.” Dennis, who lives in Eagle River, Wisconsin, had learned he needed a kidney transplant and would require care at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital in Hines, Illinois, 330 miles away. Because of the distance, he was grateful to learn about Fisher House. “When they told me I had to have a sponsor to stay at Fisher House, I knew Tim had his own businesses, so if I needed some help, it would be so much easier to have someone that could take care of everything,” he explained. “And also, you know, we have great times when we talk.”



Tim accompanied Dennis to Fisher House in March 2021 and then again in August. “He's helping me go through a part of my life that has been difficult,” said Dennis. “He's always upbeat. He's always keeping an eye on me.” The friends explained how comforting it was to have a highquality place to stay, especially on a fixed income. Dennis said that he felt safer not having to stay downtown in a hotel. The friends also said they were impressed by the thought that goes into the details of a Fisher House. “It's like a five-star hotel with the structure and everything. It's quiet. The people… you couldn't have asked for anything better,” said Tim. “They made us feel welcome and invited us to come out and have dinner. That was unbelievable.” In August, Dennis learned that he is well enough to move onto the kidney transplant list. “I am so happy talking about it. The doctor came in and said, ‘You're ready and we'll put you on the active list so you can get a donor.’ So, I got to call my kids and give them the information,” said Dennis. “I'm scared, I'm kind of stunned, and a little tickled. Keep taking care of yourself. That's how I got here. After 18 months, I got this far.” “We just want to go somewhere and celebrate,” said Dennis. “Get some real steak dinners and a beer.” “Celebrate in moderation,” chimed in Tim, always watching out for his good friend. Top and Middle Right: Dennis and Tim share a laugh on the Hines Fisher House back patio. Bottom Right: Photo courtesy of Dennis McCluskey. Campground in Three Lakes, Wisconsin owned and managed by friends, Tim and Dennis.

National Military Family Association Military Spouse Scholarships Story by Michelle Horn

For 14 years, Fisher House Foundation and NMFA have partnered to empower military spouses with scholarship funding. The Foundation helps NMFA with its scholarship program to ensure the critical population of military spouses is served. One 2021 recipient of the NMFA Spouse Scholarships, Amanda Meadows, plans to use her education to help military and veteran families. Amanda Meadows is a graduate student at the College of William & Mary studying clinical mental health counseling with an emphasis in military and veteran counseling. As a military spouse for 15 years and mother of two, she volunteers for local military and veteran organizations and at her children’s schools. Amanda is preparing to run the 2022 Chicago Marathon as part of the Brain Injury Recovery Foundation Charity Team to help raise funds for a dedicated brain injury rehabilitative facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After her father sustained a severe TBI in the spring, Amanda learned that Oklahoma has no dedicated TBI facility, despite a large military and veteran population in the state. “I am honored to have received a scholarship from Fisher House through the National Military Family Association,” she said. “This scholarship allows me to pursue a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling to continue serving our military, veterans, and their families during life transitions.” NMFA has provided more than $7.5 million to 7,621 recipients over the last 18 years. Fisher House Foundation has been a partner since 2008. In addition to supporting NMFA’s Military Spouse Scholarships, Fisher House Foundation continues to administer Scholarships for Military Children in partnership with the Defense Commissary Agency and the Heroes’ Legacy Scholarship program.



Active-duty Marine reflects on Fisher House stay Story and Photos by David Nye

“I remember the first day I got to the Fisher House, and my mom and I were just blown away with how nice it was and how well we were treated. We were probably both in tears the first day after I had my surgery.” That comes from Marine Cpl. Bridget York, who suffered a stress fracture and a torn tendon during training. Her mother came to support her after her surgery and the two of them stayed at the Camp Lejeune Fisher House

She found herself stuck in the barracks as she awaited surgery. It was hard to do daily tasks, and she found the experience isolating and frustrating. When she learned that she would need 30 days to recover from surgery, she was worried.

I know my mom and his mom, it helped them so much to know that their kids weren't alone in the process and that they had someone else and another family going through the same thing as them.

“And just knowing that someone cared that much, it meant so much to us,” she said. Bridget was an athlete in high school and was used to aches and pains while training, but a sudden numbness in her right side during a five-mile run, coupled with pain, alarmed her. She learned from her doctor that she had extensive damage to her right hip that would require the use of crutches and surgery.

“The case manager, I kind of explained my concern to them,” she said. “And the case manager talked to me and told me about the Fisher House. I had heard of it before through a few family members, but I didn't know a whole lot about them. I didn't know how much of a difference it would make for me until I needed it.”

In her last week of recovery, Bridget met another Marine who arrived with his mom. “I know I wasn't the only Marine that had ever had an injury,” she said, “but I felt like I was the only person going through it at the time. To be able to talk to another Marine that had a similar injury to me, he tore his ACL, we really connected over that.”




“I know my mom and his mom, it helped them so much to know that their kids weren't alone in the process and that they had someone else and another family going through the same thing as them,” she said. “And his story was so similar to mine and especially his mom's story about, you know, not knowing where she was going to stay to help take care of him, not knowing how she was going to finance that stay.” She was so touched by her experience that she organized a volunteer trip with her unit back to the Fisher House. “I knew right then and there, when I was staying those first few days in the Fisher House, that I felt the need to just give back in some way because of everything that was given to us. I've never really had treatment like that before.” “One of the biggest lessons I learned when this happened to me was how much it means to just have somebody reach out to you, to have somebody be there, kind of as a shoulder and to help you, and coming to the Fisher House and seeing people that didn't know me from anything but said, ‘You are still worth it, and you deserve to be treated well.’”

Last September, Fisher House Foundation Advisory Council member Denzel Washington was named Honorary Sergeant Major of the Army in a ceremony aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York, New York. The honor was bestowed upon him for his dedication to helping the military and veteran community.



HERO MILES SUPPORTS REHABILITATIVE GOLF EVENT Story by Michelle Horn Photos courtesy of Tee It Up for the Troops and the Lacy Family

In 2012, Tee It Up for the Troops began a special program reuniting service members who had lost contact with one another to help with healing the invisible wounds of war. The program, REUNION, uses golf as a basis for a rehabilitative three-day event based at the Reunion Resort and Golf Club in Kissimmee, Florida that includes workshops for strengthening these warriors’ spirits. After the second year, Tee It Up for the Troops decided to expand the event to their caregivers, recognizing the critical role of spouses. Fisher House Foundation’s Hero Miles Program supports this program that helps service members and their caregivers through the healing process. Many of the attendees are Purple Heart recipients who have been injured while overseas. A considerable number have traumatic brain injuries, or suffer from post-traumatic stress, or both. Nearly all still struggle with what they have been through. “What keeps us coming back is the strong desire to be around my military brothers and sisters. Combat creates such a strong bond and sharing their camaraderie is such an important need in my life,” said Navy veteran Mark Little, who attended once before. “The military was my life for 30 years and I have so much to be thankful for. I'm positive that I couldn't have made it through without them covering my back. I don't know where I would have ended up without their support and the military shaping my life.” Since the program began, Hero Miles has provided 416 airline tickets, saving $436,017 for participants. “Tee It Up for the Troops has been extremely blessed to have the support of the Hero Miles program throughout all ten years of our REUNION outreach program,” said Tim Wegscheid, president and executive director. “The REUNION program reunites combat veterans who were separated due to battlefield situations. We bring these battle buddies back together from locations across the U.S.A. Due to the important role of Hero Miles in providing flights to these deserving heroes, it allows us to allocate more funding toward additional reunions, including their caregivers, and providing enhanced



programming. The positive ripple effect of the Hero Miles support is endless, and we are extremely grateful.” Veterans from Vietnam to the most recent conflicts attended REUNION with their spouses. Throughout the weekend, there were events for both veterans and their caregivers. Along with golf, there were discussion sessions and events. Caregivers participated in a yoga workshop and other activities. Participants from both groups worked with the nonprofit CreatiVets to write songs about their experiences. “The caregiver sessions mean so much to me because I am with other women who get it. These women have all been through a lot themselves, but they are all always so welcoming and strong,” said Jessica Lacy, who attended with her husband, Army veteran Mike. “It never feels awkward being in a room full of ladies, most of whom you've never met ­— it feels more like family. There is an unspoken bond, and it’s always great to break bread and share stories. There are always plenty of tears and laughter, but my heart is always full when I leave a REUNION weekend.” For the ten-year reunion, many of the attendees from previous years were invited back. Mike Lacy, who has attended REUNION four times, explained why returning is important. “What keeps bringing us back is the environment created by Tee it Up for the Troops,” explained Mike. “Their hearts for veterans and what golf can do to rehabilitate a veteran in need both mentally and physically is immeasurable. We love to be a part of that. It's a safe space where people understand the challenges that this life has presented, and truthfully, it's a great reminder

and recharge that anything can be overcome, and you are not alone.” Tee It Up for the Troops has been a tremendous partner to Fisher House Foundation, donating money raised at golf tournaments throughout the country. Over the years, they have donated more than $1.1 million and provided 23 golf carts to Fisher Houses around the country, helping to get families from the door of the Fisher House to the door of the hospital when walking isn’t possible. Fisher House Foundation’s Hero Miles program uses donated frequent flyer miles to purchase tickets bringing military and veteran families to their injured or ill loved ones while they are receiving treatment. Hotels for Heroes uses donated hotel loyalty points to provide a hotel room when there is not a Fisher House nearby. Both Hero programs also support other nonprofits that are helping military and veteran families through their healing journey. “We believe that we must all come together and bring our strengths to help these men, women, and their loved ones who are struggling,” said Fisher House Foundation Chairman and CEO Ken Fisher. “Different organizations have their own focus, but when we come together, we can make an even bigger difference.”

Same Award Program, New Name Fisher House Foundation and Military Times Foundation are proud to introduce the Chairman’s Award for Military Community Service, formally replacing the Newman’s Own Award. The Chairman’s Award recognizes innovative programs for military and veteran communities. This program will award a total of $250,000 to be divided among the top applying nonprofits. Each award winner will also receive an advertising package valued at $30,000 from Military Times. Since the program began in 1999, it has distributed more than $2.5 million across 195 nonprofit programs. Learn more at

Award THE PATRIOT • VOLUME 13 • ISSUE 1 • 2022


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



Story by David Nye

A NEW WAY TO COMBAT THE HIGH RATES OF VETERAN SUICIDE The Objective Zero Foundation has achieved great success with its titular app, fighting veteran suicide by connecting over 2,000 trained peer supporters with over 10,000 users who benefit from voice and video calls, text conversations, and health and wellness resources enabled through the app. In 2021, this success resulted in Objective Zero Foundation receiving the top Newman's Own Award of $50,000 to continue expanding its services to veterans. “We are incredibly honored to have been selected for a Newman's Own Award,” said Betsey Mercado, Executive Director of Objective Zero. “This grant is allowing us to develop and implement new evidence-based tools within the Objective Zero App to better support service members, veterans, their families, and caregivers with their mental health and wellness as an upstream approach to suicide prevention.” Objective Zero started with a phone call in 2014. A medically retired infantryman, Justin Miller, was wracked by nightmares and nearly committed suicide. He was stopped only by not wanting to wake his wife as he loaded his weapon. Luckily, that created just enough time for a worried friend to call and offer help, leading to a six-hour phone call that saved his life. Now, thousands of app users get and give support on a platform that enables fast communication. The app also includes podcasts, mindfulness exercises, and inspirational stories to help veterans not just in the moment of crisis but 14


also with the potentially long road to a healthy recovery. The Objective Zero App is available on Google Play, the App Store, and at for service members, veterans, their families, and caregivers. Objective Zero App users can filter through the Ambassador network by age, gender, location, branch of service, affiliation to the military, military occupational specialty, deployment campaign, and ROTC/ Service Academy to create a meaningful connection with a peer. The app is free to download, free to use, and is available 24 hours a day. “We were excited to see the amazing work being done by the military and veteran nonprofits that applied to the 2021 Newman's Own Award,” said Ken Fisher, chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation. “While the Newman's Own Award program is ending, the Chairman's Award for Military Community Service will replace it and provide the same support to nonprofits doing great work like the Objective Zero Foundation.” To download the app or to learn more about Objective Zero Foundation visit:

Fisher House Foundation also salutes these other

Story by Fisher House Foundation Story by Fisher House Foundation


2020 Award Recipients 2021Award Grant Recipients

Free Dental Care to Homeless Veterans Program, Los Angeles, CA

Homeless Not Toothless provides free dental care to homeless veterans and their families. Patients have made a commitment to be sober and seek employment. The objective is to fix oral issues that would prevent patients from obtaining work. In partnership with UCLA’s School of Dentistry, Homeless Not Toothless is able to train the next generation of doctors in the world of public health, providing a benefit to both patients and providers. Homeless Not Toothless has provided over $7.7 million in free dental work to over 100,000 patients since 1991.

For more information, contact Dr. Jay Grossman ( or visit


Keystone Life Skills Development Program, Bethesda, MD

Yellow Ribbon Fund, a non-profit organization, that serves post 9/11 wounded, ill, and injured veterans, their families, and caregivers is honored to receive the 2021 Newman’s Own Award. This award will help support the Keystone Life Skills Development Program, offered to military caregivers. The program is an 8–10-week course that trains and educates each student in a job track that fits their professional desires and caregiver responsibilities. Both training and jobs are virtual and offer time flexibility, so caregivers are afforded financial independence and selfempowerment. Upon completion of the course, each student is provided with one-on-one live interview preparation, resume building, personal branding, and job-hunting instructions to solidify their desired career path. For more information, contact Gina Harrow ( or visit


CalVet Residential Enriched Neighborhood Program, Riverside, CA

Habitat for Humanity Riverside always provides a series of classes for new homeowners, such as budgeting, home repairs, and insurance and wills, but this program in partnership with CalVet also requires them to surround veteran families with three years of wrap around services such as equine therapy, peer-to-peer counseling, trauma informed art therapy, PTSD counseling, and domestic violence counseling. These and other indepth health related and money management services for the entire family will be provided as these veterans and their families make the journey from renter to homeowner. For more information, contact Matt Friedlander ( or visit


Veteran Family Member Suicide Prevention Program, Miami Beach, FL

The Overwatch Project is a suicide prevention initiative that is building the equivalent of the “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk” campaign for veterans, only instead of talking about alcohol and vehicles, it is focused on guns and suicide. It works from within the veteran community to empower vets to intervene with at-risk buddies, asking to temporarily hold onto their guns or take protective storage measures before it’s too late. Through this approach, the Overwatch Project takes “lethal means safety,” an evidence-based suicide prevention practice, out of a clinical environment and places it into real-world use via engagement and training crafted in a blunt, authentic veteran voice. The Veteran Family Member Suicide Prevention Program will expand the Overwatch Project beyond its peer-based focus to create training, tools, and resources that empower veteran family members to effectively foster conversations about protective firearms storage when suicide is a risk. Nearly 70% of veteran suicides are with firearms, and this program will be the first in the country specifically focused on equipping veteran family members to have these lifesaving conversations. For more information, contact Casey Woods ( or visit




A Journey from Puerto Rico brings Army Vet to Fisher House

Story by Christy Wilcox Photos by Craig Orsini

In 2019, José Antommarchi García went to his private doctor near their small village in Puerto Rico. His tests revealed he had a rare form of cancer. He and his wife, Rosa María López Acosta, had no idea they were about to embark on a long journey far from their rural home to save his life, but local doctors said specialized treatment at a VA facility was urgent. Rosa, in her native Spanish language, talks about the discovery. “For us, it caught us by surprise,” Rosa said. “His health condition surprised us by chance when another health condition was checked.” Jose's doctor in San Juan explained that the only way to save his life was to receive specialized treatment at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital Department of Nuclear Medicine in Hines, Illinois. The decision to travel to the U.S. did not come without angst. Jose did not want his sole caretaker and loving wife, Rosa, exposed to COVID-19. “If I got COVID, well, I had no problem with that, but she said no because she wanted to come with me,” Jose said. Rosa said the thought of not helping her husband in Chicago devastated her because “you get married in the good and bad times, in sickness and in health.” Amanda Bowers, an oncology social worker in Chicago, told them a group of dedicated professionals from different organizations could coordinate the trip. Fisher House Manager Holly Wright helped arrange their visit. “We didn't know where we were going to stay because we didn't have any family here [in Hines],” Rosa said. “For us, who came from the island not knowing what to expect, the way Holly received and welcomed us, our lives changed, and we felt at peace.” The head of the nuclear medicine department, Dr. Nicholas Friedman, offers elbow bumps to the couple and greets them with his South African accent when they visit. While he may not speak their language, Dr. Friedman knows it is hard to face rare diseases. “The Fisher House was a big aid in managing his care because we knew where he would be staying,” Dr. Friedman said. “They are non-English speakers. It would've been very difficult for them to navigate the system.” 16


As Jose and Rosa look toward his fourth and final appointment, they are hopeful of good news to come. “When we arrived at the house, we met these people who are extraordinary and exquisite human beings, but we know that when we put things in God's hands, He is reciprocal in blessings,” Rosa said.

Spanish Translation

En 2019, José Antommarchi García fue a ver a su médico particular cerca de su pequeño pueblo en Puerto Rico. Sus pruebas revelaron que tenía una forma inusual de cáncer. Él y su esposa, Rosa María López Acosta, no tenían idea de que estaban a punto de embarcarse en un largo viaje lejos de su hogar en el campo para salvar su vida, pero los médicos locales dijeron que era urgente darle un tratamiento especializado en un centro de Asuntos de los Veteranos (VA). Rosa habla de este descubrimiento en su lengua materna, el español: “A nosotros nos tomó por sorpresa”, dijo Rosa. “Nos enteramos de ese problema de salud por casualidad cuando se revisaba otro problema de salud”.

hable su idioma, el Dr. Friedman sabe que es difícil enfrentarse a enfermedades raras. “Fisher House fue de gran ayuda para gestionar su atención médica porque supimos dónde se iba a alojar”, dijo el Dr. Friedman. “Son personas que no hablan inglés, por lo que les habría resultado muy difícil desenvolverse en el sistema”. Mientras José y Rosa planean su cuarta y última cita, tienen la esperanza de recibir buenas noticias. “Cuando llegamos a la casa, nos encontramos con estas personas que son seres humanos extraordinarios y muy amables, pero sabemos que cuando ponemos las cosas en manos de Dios, Él es recíproco en sus bendiciones”, dijo Rosa.

El médico de José en San Juan le explicó que la única forma de salvar su vida era recibiendo un tratamiento especializado en el Departamento de Medicina Nuclear del Hospital Edward Hines, Jr. de VA en Hines, Illinois. La decisión de viajar a los Estados Unidos no estuvo exenta de angustia. José no quería que su única cuidadora y amada esposa, Rosa, se expusiera al COVID-19. “Si me enfermaba de COVID, pues no tenía ningún problema, pero ella dijo que no porque quería venir conmigo”, dijo José. Rosa dijo que se quería morir porque, “uno se casa para estar en las buenas y en las malas, en la salud y en la enfermedad”. Como cuidadora de José, sentía que debía viajar con él para su tratamiento. Amanda Bowers, trabajadora social de oncología en Chicago, les dijo que un grupo de profesionales especializados de diferentes organizaciones podría coordinar el viaje. Holly Wright, la administradora de Fisher House, les ayudó a organizar la visita.

Top left: José and Rosa arrive in Chicago after a long flight from Puerto Rico. Bottom left: José enjoys a snack in the Hines Fisher House kitchen. Above: José and Rosa share a quick kiss over coffee.

“No sabíamos dónde íbamos a alojarnos porque no teníamos familia aquí [en Hines]”, dijo Rosa. “Para nosotros, que llegamos de la isla sin saber qué esperar, la forma en que Holly nos recibió y acogió cambió nuestras vidas y nos sentimos en paz”. El Dr. Nicholas Friedman, jefe del Departamento de Medicina Nuclear, saluda con el codo a la pareja y les da la bienvenida con su acento sudafricano cuando lo visitan. Aunque no





At Fisher House Foundation, we have the support of community groups throughout the country who support their local Fisher Houses or raise funds and awareness for a future Fisher House in their area. Here are some highlights. Gainesville Fisher House Foundation Rick Fabiani II, (son of Patti Fabiani, Executive Director of Gainesville Fisher House Foundation, Inc.) the new President of the Greater Gainesville Rotary Club, has led the way for the new Rotarians to become involved with the Fisher House cause. This Rotary Club makes meals for the house already and this year brought sumptuous Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for the house. This is the second generation of leadership to volunteer at our Fisher House and carry on the tradition. It created such enthusiasm within the club.

Greater Cleveland Fisher House Greater Cleveland Fisher House is fortunate to have a years-long partnership with the Roar by the Shore Mentor On The Lake Annual Cruise In'. Proceeds from this annual event benefit our Fisher House. In November 2021, the group’s chairman, Paul Morris, and his son, co-chair Jason Morris, presented our board members with a generous check of more than $7,000 in front of the bronze bust of Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher in our foyer. In addition, the event was featured in an episode of Ohio’s “Cruise In’” classic car TV show! Paul and Jason spoke highly of Fisher House during their interview. We cannot thank them enough for their support and hard work.

Friends of New Mexico Fisher House The Friends of New Mexico Fisher House ensured that Santa remembered to stop and visit the Albuquerque Fisher House this year. Guests at the Fisher House woke up Christmas morning to find gifts waiting for them under the tree. All of our families were surprised and extremely grateful for the thoughtful surprise, especially the youngest guest, Anora. Anora is traveling back and forth to the Fisher House with her dad, Jacob Cleveland, an active-duty airman stationed at Holloman Air Force Base. Anora’s mom, Michele, has been staying at the Fisher House so she can be close to her preemie twin daughters, Scarlet and Violet, who are at the NICU at a local hospital. Michele and her father, Erick, are keeping watch over the twins while Jacob provides Anora comfort back home. Their holiday reunion was filled with the magic of the season at their home away from home.

Fisher House Michigan One of Fisher House Michigan’s favorite supporters is a pastry chef from Brooklyn, Michigan. FHM commissioned her to create something truly special for Founder’s Day, and the patriotic result was magnificent! Look closely at her chocolate and fondant rendition of Zachary Fisher’s Presidential Medal of Freedom atop two tiers of vanilla spice cake filled with sautéed apples. Her edible art put smiles on the faces of all the guests who gathered to celebrate the Honorary Veteran who made Fisher Houses possible. Thank you, Mr. Fisher.



Hearts in HEARTS in Community thethe COMMUNITY Proud Supporters Sippy Poo & BBQ Scott McDowell runs the hit Facebook group Sippy Poo & BBQ, which celebrates barbecue culture and great food. On May 14, 2022, he is hosting his 3rd Annual BBQ Fundraiser for Fisher House, where thousands of attendees are expected to pay $35 a person to attend the fundraiser, share great food, and have fun in Woodcliffe Lake, New Jersey. The Sippy Poo fundraisers raised approximately $60,000 in 2021. Scott and his supporters are dedicated to serving the military and veterans.

CryptoPainter organizes fundraiser of 9 ETH ($42,500) The non-fungible token artist Cryptopainter, also known as Richard Lee, organized a fundraiser where he created a digital art piece featuring military veterans who are active in the NFT and cryptocurrency communities. He auctioned 10 prints to collectors, and then donated the cryptocurrency raised to Fisher House Foundation through The Giving Block. The auction brought in 9 Ethereum, valued at more than $42,500, on Veterans Day 2021. Cryptopainter transitioned to being an NFT artist after a career in Hollywood and he wanted to work with his friends in the crypto community to do something charitable for military and veteran families.

Corporate and Foundation Giving A Partnership Rooted in Family and Community Story by Michelle Horn

Fisher House Foundation is lucky to have so many supporters. One corporate supporter that has found new and creative ways to support military and veteran families is Beazer Homes.

when we can safely restart our volunteering activities in Fisher Houses around the country. The time we have spent with Fisher House families has been a great source of inspiration — and patriotism.”

Beazer Homes, a home construction company based out of Atlanta, Georgia, has raised more than $1 million since 2017 and, prior to the pandemic, encouraged employees to volunteer at Fisher Houses, giving them an opportunity to interact directly with guests.

Employees fundraised in 2017, 2018, and 2019 through the Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series. When the run was canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-19, Beazer Homes participated virtually. They also developed the Employee Wellness Challenge, which encouraged Beazer staff to move one million active minutes as a company while raising funds for Fisher House Foundation.

“I’m so proud of our team’s dedication to supporting Fisher House. Since Beazer began our relationship six years ago, our employees have fully embraced the opportunity to support Fisher House, both financially and in person,” said Beazer Homes CEO Allan Merrill. “In 2021, we crossed the $1 million level in cumulative financial support, drawn from corporate, employee, and partner contributions. And I know we are all looking forward to the time

“In order to expand our philanthropic activities, we recently created and launched a wholly-owned title insurance agency. We named this business “Charity Title” and structured it to donate 100% of its profits to a newly-formed Beazer Charity Foundation,” explained Allan. “As our homebuilding and title operations expand, I look forward to growing our support of Fisher House and the amazing work they do to provide crucial housing for military families.”

Just this past February, Beazer Homes came through again when more than 100 runners, including employees, their family members, and partners, participated in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series Las Vegas. Beazer also recently created Beazer Charity Foundation, increasing their corporate giving efforts.



A wedding in two days:

Palo Alto hosts special nuptials Story by David Nye Photos courtesy Layla and Arlene Sibetang

When Arlene Sibetang, an Army vet, woke up next to her fiancée in the Palo Alto Fisher House on December 29, 2021, she was a little annoyed. Her chemotherapy appointments weren’t until the afternoon, and she wanted to sleep in. But Layla was insistent, “No, you’ve got to wake up. Wake up. You said you wanted to marry me, right?” They hadn’t discussed dates, rings, flowers, or guest lists, but a chaplain walked into the room. “I heard you want to get married?” Arlene looked at Layla. “What did you do?” The engagement, long discussed, had only recently become official. Arlene has worked for years as a firefighter on Guam. She ignored a growing pain in 2021, unwilling to take leave while her community fought surges of COVID-19. Unfortunately, when Layla finally got Arlene to have it checked, it turned out to be a rare and aggressive cancer that had already progressed to Stage 4. After the couple traveled almost 6,000 miles to California for cancer treatments, they learned that Arlene’s prognosis was not what they expected, even with chemo. The doctor asked if they wanted to fight or go home. Instead, the couple decided to get married and fight the cancer. “Not out of fear that she was going to die, but I’ve never been married before, she’s never been married, and we really wanted to get married.” Layla told Arlene, “We're gonna fight. You’re not just a firefighter, you are a fighter.” The next morning, Palo Alto Fisher House Manager Tracy Marino asked Layla how Arlene was.



“I just broke down. I didn't have anyone else to talk to about it, you know the news we got. I just started telling her everything… then I just started crying, ‘She asked me to get married. I want to marry her.’” When Layla started listing all the things she didn’t know how to do in California, like applying for a marriage license, Tracy offered to help. “Don’t worry. Just go to the hospital and be with her. It’ll be okay. I will make some calls to the Chaplain Service to see if they can help.” The news spread like wildfire. The hospital chaplain called the court, explained the situation, and asked if a marriage license could be pushed through. It came back, signed, two days later. Layla went to local stores to find items for her and Arlene, like rings and matching pajamas. Tracy went through the Fisher House’s decorations to find items that would make it feel like a wedding and got a cake and a bouquet. The ceremony came together so quickly, and with so little effort on Arlene’s part, that she was surprised when Layla woke her up and the chaplain came in. There, in the Fisher House, their new friends were arrayed, socially distanced, in pajamas of their own. The assistant manager broadcast the ceremony on FaceTime to family on Guam, as the housekeeper and a hospital photographer took photos. “From now on, when we say home, we mean Fisher House,” Layla said. Layla said of Arlene, “She has always had an uncommon courage, remained compassionate and dedicated. I fell more and more in love with Arlene’s patience, strength, and tolerance throughout the years, not just in our relationship, but also with her work ethic. I knew that I could spend a lifetime of loyalty and love with her.” Layla’s five kids, including two veterans, still tease their mom’s wife that she can change her mind. “You can still say ‘no,’ if our

mom is too much for you. The State of California has a twoweek refund.” “It’s made her happy,” Layla says. “The residents here, the guests wouldn’t even know that she’s fighting cancer, because she’s so active. I think, emotionally, she’s better off. So now, you know, we just trust God. We do what we can physically, and He does His part spiritually.”

Opposite page: Arlene, left, and Layla, right, Sibetang walk down the aisle together to be married in the Palo Alto Fisher House. Top: Arlene Sibetang as an Army sergeant Middle: The cake and other decorations were purchased on short notice or pulled from the Fisher House's storage. THE PATRIOT • VOLUME 13 • ISSUE 1 • 2022


JOURNAL ENTRIES & LETTERS Albuquerque, NM Our 21-year-old son was fighting for his life when we got here from nearly 2,000 miles away. We first arrived with a day bag and no plan for the longterm. In total sorrow and despair, we were incapable of thinking about our own needs or of considering a life without our son in it. Entering F isher House was the first sign that things would be okay. The hospital where our son was being treated was over 140% capacity. Our presence made sure that he was always a personal priority to the medical providers. Our total stay was about two months. Our son indeed survived, which defied the clinical outlook. Our direct attention to his care ensured that the needed treatment was always correct. I’m skipping over the very saddest parts, but as I write this on the last night of our stay at F isher House, my son is lying in the bed next to mine. The outlook is a full recovery. The doctors acknowledge that this is a true wonder. This house is responsible for part of a miracle that saved our child and our fa mily, and everything good we can ever give to the world. Thank you to the people who made this place possible, and especially the ones we got to interact with every day. What you do is bigger than you will ever know.

Ann Arbor, MI Thank you for this beautiful room/place to rest. We live up north in Michigan and we would have had to leave early morning and drive hours. I a m here as tomorrow I’m being admitted for a super rare auto-immune disease which I have suffered from for almost a year. I a m a Navy Veteran. I a m so grateful for this very nice place to be, it also eased some worries about having to afford a room or not get treatment. This is so appreciated. We got to rest, watch some football, and hang out together making memories before some very scary health stuff. It has been so comfortable here from the minute we arrived. As a veteran who has struggled to get help, this place and the staff and donors are very much appreciated. Without this our trip would have been so much harder.

Tacoma, WA I couldn’t have made it through this most difficult time without F isher House. I was only five minutes from the hospital, where my husband was in hospice, rather than 55 from our home. Vatt and Ashley treated me like fa mily. Special food and loving care and concern. Thank you so very much.

San Diego, CA When we arrived at the F isher House, we received a warm welcome and were informed that the objective of Tiana and her staff was to make our stay feel like we were at home. Without a doubt, we can say it has been “mission accomplished” throughout our eight-week stay here. Tiana and her staff not only maintained the beautiful facility meticulously, but also made us feel special with their caring attitudes. As a Vietna m veteran, this recognition for a veteran has special meaning, as any returning soldier from that era can understand. The inclusion and support in our time of need during my cancer treatment was indeed rewarding. There are so many people to thank for making this possible, beginning of course with the F isher fa mily; Tiana and her staff; all of the donors and volunteers; the Navy personnel on base; and so many others. We will always have fond memories and a special place in our hearts for this F isher House. Thank you so much.

St. Louis, MO The F isher House replaces trepidation with solace. As my father's life journey is nearing its end, emotions are muddled. In addition to feelings of inevitable loss, there are also practical fears: the fear of traveling alone to an unknown city; the fear of personal safety; the fear of financial affordability. The lifeline the F isher House extends brings immeasurable peace. Comfort, support, and relief — every detail has been thoughtfully provided. Big things such as food, shelter, and safety but also fine details such as a box of Kleenex never more than an arm’s length away. Toiletries, cozy bathrobes, computer, occasion cards, washer/dryer movies, books, etc. Thank you.

Travis Air Force Base, CA Dear Future #104 Resident,

You are here! You made it! Take a deep breath. This is our last day of treatment. We have been here [for a month and a half]. What seemed like such a faraway date has arrived impossibly quickly, and F isher House has been the reason. F isher House, the a mazing staff, and its residents turned something so overwhelming into so doable. F isher House and staff take all the worries so you can focus on the most important thing, getting well, recovering, and restoring. Hungry? The cupboards and refrigerators are full! Volunteers and different groups have you covered from bagels for breakfast to delicious dinners. Cold? Baskets in the hallways overflow with blankets. Choose the one that speaks to you. Feeling lonesome? The staff and residents are here for you, whether it’s a conversation or just hanging out in the rockers watching TV. Tired? Come relax in your room. Comfy beds and soft pillows lull you to sleep. Not tired? The chairs in the library are the perfect spot for reading, relaxing, or quiet thought. You got this! P.S. Staff here is magical! Need a birthday party? Done! Need a highchair? Done! Need a hug? Done and done! 22



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


Rebecca Wood Tennessee Valley HealthCare System Fisher House

Story by David Nye

Murfreesboro Fisher House manager Rebecca Wood has a long history with the Fisher House program, starting as the first Travis Air Force Base Fisher House manager in 1993. Since then, she has opened three more Fisher Houses, served thousands of military and veteran families, and survived hundreds of pranks from her staff. “We all have a great sense of humor,” Rebecca says. “We like to have a lot of fun and we pull tricks on each other.” Guests joked that there was a pool in the linen room because they could hear staff moving stuff around and water splashing, and they said that the manager just wouldn’t let them swim. “And so I came one day to my office door and there was caution tape on it and it said, ‘No Lifeguard on Duty.’ I walked inside and they had put a baby pool in the middle of my office on a tarp.” The jokes helped Rebecca and the staff through the hard times. She opened the Travis Fisher House soon after she graduated college. She later took a break for a few years to spend more time with her father before he passed, but she came back to the Fisher House family in 2007. “I came back at the height of the wounded coming in, so I got to work a lot with Marines. I'd not worked with the Marines much, and I was quickly impressed.” “I was in awe of them because every wounded parent or spouse or someone that came, they would not let them go to the floor alone for the first time. I remember one time I had a father that was so anxious, and I was calling [the command] because I said, ‘He's getting really antsy and I've got him down here in the lobby, but y'all better get here because you know, he's anxious to see his son.’ And they're like, ‘We're sending the gunny right away. He's on the way.’”

brain injuries, amputations, and more. She was fiercely protective of them, worried about people who would try to use them or who, with the best of intentions, would try to help them but wouldn’t be up to it. “We had a girl come in one time to cook, and a lady came in crying and the girl freaked out. I told her, ‘That happens a lot in here. And you have to be okay with that.’ She asked, ‘well, what’s wrong with her?’ I said, ‘she probably got some bad news, you know? That’s how some people react, and you just have to be okay with emotions in here.’” Despite the challenges, Rebecca finds her role rewarding. “I just wish everybody could know what a great thing it is to be a Fisher House manager, that everybody did know how really rewarding it is.” Rebecca, like most managers, finds herself constantly changing hats, from supporting grieving families to ordering supplies to cleaning toilets to checking in a veteran. “I just think that when you see how grateful the people are, it's just really so amazing. When people talk about retiring and different things, when you enjoy what you're doing, why would you even think too much about that? I've done this for so many years. I just think it's the best thing in the world.”

Rebecca worked at Bethesda where service members would come through with grievous injuries. She met people with traumatic THE PATRIOT • VOLUME 13 • ISSUE 1 • 2022


CONSTRUCTION UPDATES OPENINGS Last fall, the Kansas City VA Medical Center Fisher House opened its doors to veterans and their families. The 16-suite house offers families from around the Midwest a place to stay while their loved ones receive care at the medical center. NFL players have supported Fisher House families since 2015 with donations from the NFL Players Association and Triple Threat Production, Inc. totaling $180,000.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION Bay Pines, Florida Fisher House Foundation has begun building a second house for the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System. This house will increase the capacity in Bay Pines, allowing up to 24 veteran families a place to stay, free of charge, while receiving medical care. Columbia, South Carolina Construction has begun on a 16-suite house in Columbia, South Carolina. As part of the Columbia VA Health Care System, this house will reduce the burden of lodging costs and allow veterans and their families to focus on their medical treatment. Lexington, Kentucky Kentucky will receive its first Fisher House supporting the Department of Veterans Affairs towards the end of 2022 as part of the Lexington VA Health Care System. The 16-suite Fisher House will support veterans from throughout Kentucky by providing a home away from home.

DOWN RANGE CONSTRUCTION The following projects are currently in design. • The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center North Chicago, Illinois • Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital Columbia, Missouri • Hospital de Veteranos (VA Caribbean Healthcare System) San Juan, Puerto Rico • Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans' Hospital II San Antonio, Texas



free tool to create a legal will Just as expensive costs shouldn't keep our military and veteran families from attending to their loved ones, costly legal fees shouldn't keep you from protecting your family. As a gift to you, Fisher House Foundation has partnered with FreeWill to offer you the opportunity to create your will at no cost, valid in all 50 states. To get started, visit

Teacher of military children leaves planned gift to Fisher House Foundation

Story by David Nye

“When I was near to completing my degree, I saw an ad, like postage stamp size, it said ‘teaching overseas,’ but you had to have two years' experience,” Nancy Williams said, describing how she ended up teaching at Department of Defense Schools for 36 years. Nancy got her required experience near Phoenix, Arizona, teaching for five years before answering the call of military schools. The job took her all over the world, from Arizona to Germany, Portugal, Japan, and back to Germany. It was when she returned to Germany around 2003 that she became familiar with Fisher House. She went to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to volunteer and learned that she needed clearance to volunteer from a higher level at the Department of Defense. When she was leaving the lobby, she saw the wounded coming in from Iraq and Afghanistan. “The doctors and nurses were gathering at the front because the buses were just arriving with the wounded,” she said. “I walked out in tears and just, I almost couldn’t drive home because I was so torn up thinking of all these young soldiers that are coming in, injured.”

When she was retiring, she found her credentials and finally logged back in. There was more than she expected in the account, and she started to think about what would happen to it when she passed. “I just thought, ‘What if some idiot on his cell phone hits me on the next errand I’m running?’ I just don’t want the money to go to the wrong spot,” she said. “So, I thought, ‘Why don’t you make sure it goes to a good place?’” She decided to meet with a lawyer and establish a trust so that anything that she left behind would do good. And when she thought of what to do with her excess savings, she thought of that Fisher House in Landstuhl, Germany and the work it does for families. “I want it to go to organizations that truly need it and truly do good things.” To learn more about planned giving options, contact Kathleen Kenny at or go to

Worried that she would cry in front of wounded service members if she volunteered inside the hospital, she thought immediately of the Fisher House. “At least with Fisher House, you are taking care of the families.” She spent years volunteering with Fisher House, delivering donations and helping the families. When she saw service members waiting at the bus stops or outside the hospitals, she would help them or give them rides to other bases. Nancy ended her teaching career in Germany and headed back to the U.S. She was embarrassed to admit that she had started a Thrift Savings Plan account and then let it be “out of sight, out of mind.” Over time she lost her login credentials.




We always love to check in and see what Fisher Houses have been up to. Here, we outline a few highlights from houses around the world, submitted by the Fisher House managers. ALASKA


Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson

than most experience, but we were all blessed to have each other to lean on for support and guidance.

Alaska Fisher House guests and staff had a special invitation to visit with First Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden during her stop in Anchorage. Dr. Biden took the time to meet the guests and staff. She also took time out of her itinerary to sign and write handwritten notes on guest-provided books authored by her. She’s a long-standing supporter of Fisher House programs, and it was an honor to meet her.


Camp Pendleton



Travis Air Force Base

Travis AFB Fisher House staff welcomed four new “Air Force Brats” in 12 months from 2020 to 2021. Assistant Manager Ashley Meda welcomed Kelton Meda on July 20, 2020 at our very own Travis AFB David Grant Medical Center. Assistant Manager Naomi Maalona-Collins welcomed Kehlani Collins on September 9, 2020. House Manager Ivana Jordovic welcomed Mila Valentine on May 17, 2021. Newly promoted Operations Assistant Marissa Santiago welcomed Sabella Santiago on June 4, 2021. Pregnancy and births during a pandemic have definitely offered more challenges




Throughout the month of September 2021, staff from 15 Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) branches in the area collected wish list items to support Fisher House San Diego families. During the first week of October 2021, staff from each branch delivered the donated items they collected by the carful to include: laundry detergent, paper products, snacks, and more! Navy Federal's mission is to always put members first and they did just that with this give-back opportunity to support service members and their families during times of medical crisis. Fun fact: all 15 NFCU staff members who delivered the donations were either an active-duty spouse, retiree spouse, or a retiree. We’re thankful for such a supportive military community in San Diego!

The Leadership Education Seminar– Camp Pendleton is a three-day seminar for military spouses on or near Camp Pendleton. The program teaches techniques for personal and professional leadership development. One of the main goals of LES is to provide an opportunity to do something that will impact the military community and make a difference. During their Fall 2021 Seminar household goods and snacks were collected for the Fisher House Camp Pendleton. We are extremely grateful for the donations that allow us to create our home away from home to support the military families that stay with us.


An Army veteran battling cancer and her fiancée learned that her prognosis is extremely poor, and the cancer treatment


has a low success rate. The two decided to fight the cancer together and get married as a sign of their hope in miracles and belief in God. Fisher House and VAP Palo Alto hospital staff coordinated with Chaplain Services to perform a union. It really felt like Christmas at that moment. See more about this family on page 20.


Fort Campbell

Army Maj. Armi Rhodes started as a volunteer with Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Fisher House. She and her dependent mother would often cook different meals or make a salad to drop off for the guests at the two houses there. Armi’s parents became guests in Bethesda, Maryland when her mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Sadly, Armi’s mother, her sweet Manday, passed away in May of 2010.



Fort Gordon

Thanks to Tiffany Shedd, a member of the local Lasagna Love Georgia Chapter, whose motto is “From one neighbor to another, with love.” Tiffany delivered food for the Fisher House Families at the Fort Gordon Fisher House on November 12, including a variety of lasagnas, macaroni and cheese, garlic breads, French bread, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. Lasagna Love is a global nonprofit and grassroots movement that aims to positively impact communities by connecting neighbors with neighbors through homemade meal delivery. They also seek to eliminate stigmas associated with asking for help when it is needed most. Their mission is not only to help address the incredible rise in food insecurity among families but also to provide a simple act of love and kindness during a time full of uncertainty and stress.



Hines Fisher House continues to be grateful for our community supporters especially during these times of uncertainty. Our Fisher House families have experienced even more stressors these past two years, and knowing that the community cares about their wellbeing is very important. The Gary Sinise Foundation’s Serving Heroes program has stepped up to fulfill this need. Our local Serving Heroes program coordinator has been instrumental in making sure our Fisher House families have hot catered meals, a friendly smile, and warm words of encouragement to help them get through these tough times. Hines Fisher House truly appreciates the ongoing support from the Gary Sinise Foundation and our Serving Heroes program coordinator. Together, we can offer our veterans and their families a moment of warmth that helps nourish their souls.

When she retired in 2011, she moved to Fort Campbell as her husband kept serving and became a volunteer here, which she says gives her a sense of belonging. She refers to the house as her second home and the “team” as her volunteer family.







The VA Maine Fisher House was honored to accommodate 91-year-old Larry Mounce and his beautiful wife, Wilma. Larry earned his commission through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps before serving as a navigator on an Invader reconnaissance bomber (RB-26) in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. It didn’t take long to endear himself with our staff with his quick wit and sharp mind. We loved their “I Miss Ike” bumper sticker and were humbled by their kind hearts and genuine appreciation for the heartfelt welcome they received. In his journal, Larry wrote, “A great and wonderful experience staying at the Fisher House. Every comfort and need was available. Our meeting and visit with Bonnie and Deb held true to all the compliments we have heard about them. What a joy.” Larry and Wilma look forward to their next visit, another piece of Bonnie’s amazing chocolate cake, and Deb’s warm hospitality. It was a pleasure to accommodate such a special couple.

At only 14 years old, Akyla P. and Operation Christmas Fisher House donated holiday stockings filled with gifts, canned goods, and Starbucks gift cards. Operation Christmas Fisher House has the goal of bringing holiday cheer to those staying at the Fisher House during the holidays with the support of family and friends.






We recently received this note from a grateful NICU mom. Baby TJ was born on August 5 at 1.5 pounds but had grown to 7 pounds in the Fisher House onesie photo on September 29: “Mr. Maurice, I definitely miss you, Mrs. Mabel, and Mr. Ron. I have nothing but great things to say about you and the staff. You have been a huge support to my family and myself at a time where I needed it most. For 13 weeks, you treated me with nothing but kindness and provided a place where I knew it was OK to be sad, worried, happy, but most importantly, hopeful. You were extremely personable and genuine and truly made the Fisher House experience feel like a second home. TJ and our family are forever grateful to have been your guests.”



While staying at the Fisher House in October 2021, the Davis family learned one of our dining room chairs needed to be reupholstered. As a gesture of gratitude for their stay at the Fisher House, they offered to reupholster the chair as a gift to the Fisher House. As it turns out, they own and operate an upholstery business out of their home in Swanton, Ohio. Fisher House Foundation’s interior designer sent them the proper fabric and supplies at the manager’s request. Soon, Mr. and Mrs. Davis delivered the reupholstered chair to the Fisher House, and it looks as good as new! We are so thankful to them for sharing their time and talents with the Fisher House in our time of need.



Kansas City

The Kansas City Fisher House opened their doors to guests on October 4, 2021. The first guests to stay were Joel and Shelly Wolf. Joel was being worked up for a heart transplant on their initial stay and he has since received his new heart. Joel and his wife, Shelly, continue to come back and stay at Fisher House for his bi-weekly appointments. Shelly told staff that “if it wasn’t for Fisher House, I would have had to stay in my car.” Joel’s medical team says that he is weeks ahead in his recovery, and he said he attributes that to having his wife close and not worrying about how she will be able to afford to stay with him.


A salute emerged after a simple conversation between veterans who discovered that they were in some of the same places overseas. The military may take you to an unknown land, but the return often yields a moment of honor from one vet to another.




The Albany Fisher House would like to announce a “change in command” at this historic home. Manager Michael Fitzpatrick has been promoted out of the house after serving at the helm in Albany since 2014. He sends his gratitude and admiration for all those who have given their support over his tenure and the entire Fisher House family, the Albany team, his fellow managers, the team at Fisher House Foundation, and Jennifer Koget. Our new Fisher House Manager, Michael Horning, brings with him a wealth of experience gained during his career in the Army as well as during his time with the VA at both the Stratton VAMC and VISN 2. The two “Mikes” worked together to ensure a smooth transition for our families.



Members of the 58th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron from Kirtland Air Force Base volunteered their time and set up holiday decorations at the Albuquerque Fisher House. Moses Galvan, Colton Kerns, Oscar Torres, Jomarie Caleb, Cole Botteicher, Jordan Frazier, Adriun Payne, and Jerry Heshman devoted their afternoon to setting up luminarias on the front patio and Christmas trees in the common areas. Luminarias have adorned Albuquerque walkways for more than 300 years. The New Mexico tradition dates to when Spanish villages along the Rio Grande displayed the easy-to-make lanterns to welcome the holiday season. The luminarias at the Fisher House welcomed families whose holidays are suddenly interrupted by the need to be with an inpatient service member or veteran and support them through a medical crisis.



Scene III is a social group of women dedicated to bettering the community in which they live. Once the group learned of the Fisher House and their mission, they immediately knew where they wanted to work those efforts. Over the years, Scene III has gathered financial and in-kind donations for our Fisher House. Most recently they were able to gather everything from cleaning supplies to games, toiletries to snacks, and everything in between to help make our Fisher House a home for service members and their families.





The National Commander of the American Legion, Paul Dillard, stopped by the Fort Bliss Fisher House to help change the flag. He was escorted by Bret Watson and Richard Britton.



The wonderful ladies from the Wyoming Trowel & Error Club faithfully get together yearly to provide various things from the Cincinnati Fisher House Wishlist. This year they asked for something special to do, and Karrie Hagan, the Fisher House Manager, suggested decorative pillows and throws for each of the beds in the Fisher House. These ladies provided 31 beautiful sets! They thoroughly enjoyed getting paired up to go shopping with each other and pick out each special set! These pillows and throws provide such a warm welcome to the veterans and families that stay at the Fisher House. Thank you so much for all your support of the Cincinnati Fisher House!





Fort Belvoir

Volunteers from Holland and Knight Law Offices participated in a September 11th Day of Service at the Fisher House at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. They planted new hydrangeas, added trees, mulched the plant beds, and cleaned out the gutters. Funding for the plants, mulch, and supplies were provided by the Holland and Knight Charitable Foundation.



Once again, COVID-19 has sadly forced the Veterans Day Golf Classic tournament sponsored by the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School to be cancelled, but Amy Craven Tiedeman and her family love the program and have, once again, held a family golf tournament in its place. Amy, her husband, her parents, grandparents, and siblings competed and donated $2,000 to this program. We are forever thankful for the many angels supporting Fisher House Portsmouth.

Twins of Dual Military Parents Receive Heroes’ Legacy Scholarships Story by Michelle Horn

Army veterans Autumn and Chris Bishop were serving in Alaska when their twins were born. They left service after completing their tours and relocated to Covington, Georgia. Now, twins Amber and Jayden are in their freshman year at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia and are recipients of the Heroes’ Legacy Scholarship from Fisher House Foundation. While both parents were in the military, it was their mom who left service with a 100% disability rating, qualifying them for the scholarship. Jayden is majoring in civil engineering while Amber is studying nursing. She plans to pursue a master's in occupational therapy and either work with special needs kids in a pediatric setting or work in occupational therapy for veterans. Amber explained why the scholarship is so helpful for her family. “My mom has a 100% disability rating. She can't work and me and my twin brother are both here at Georgia Southern,” she said. “And so that's kind of a lot, moving away from home and having a twin brother at school with you — the cost is a lot.”

for healthcare,” she explained. “This scholarship brings forth gratitude for those who have served and motivation towards my future career in healthcare.” Fisher House Foundation administers the Scholarships for Military Children program and the Heroes' Legacy Scholarship. The Foundation also hosts Scholarships for Service, a free scholarship search tool. Through the generosity of sponsors, more than 12,000 students have been awarded over $21 million through the Scholarships for Military Children program. Since 2011, over 3,000 students have been awarded nearly $11 million through the Heroes’ Legacy Scholarship Program. Applications for the Scholarships for Military Children and Heroes’ Legacy Scholarship open in mid-December, but the Scholarships for Service search engine is available all year long. Please go to to learn more.

As a nursing student, Amber anticipates a lot of extra expenses for additional equipment, but the scholarship has more than monetary value. “This scholarship, honestly, it means a lot to me, not in just the aspect of lifting a financial burden, but also it keeps me motivated and reminds me of what my parents and so many other Americans choose to do,” she said. “In the end, I hope to give back. I can’t give back in the sense of what our veterans and active service members have done for America, but I look forward to being able to give back to others through my passion

Fisher House Foundation awarded over $2.3 million in scholarships in 2021, helping more than 1,170 students achieve their educational goals.





Please contact the Fisher House manager directly at the desired location by phone or email.



Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Hospital (907) 222-1673 Manager: Theresa Nedrow

(202) 745-2482 Manager: Stacey Childs

ARIZONA Southern Arizona VA Health Care System Tucson (520) 838-3680 Manager: Kelly Laurich

CALIFORNIA David Grant USAF Medical Center Travis Air Force Base (707) 423-7550 Manager: Ivana Jordovic Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton (760) 763-5308 Manager: Vicky Powell-Johnson Naval Medical Center San Diego (619) 532-9055 Manager: Tiana Babcock VA Long Beach Healthcare System (562) 826-5467 Manager: Yolanda White VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (310) 268-4457 Manager: Erma Mickens VA Palo Alto Health Care System (650) 493-5000 x60384 Manager: Tracy Marino

COLORADO VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System Aurora (720) 723-7683 Manager: Khristie Barker

CONNECTICUT VA Connecticut Healthcare System West Haven (203) 937-3438 Manager: Amanda Salthouse

DELAWARE Fisher House for Families of the Fallen Dover Air Force Base (302) 922-1900 Manager: MSgt Kayla Hemmesch



Washington DC VA Medical Center

FLORIDA Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (727) 319-1350 Manager: Shentrela Diggins Eglin Air Force Base Hospital (850) 883-2865 Manager: Robert Campbell James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital Tampa (813) 910-3000 Manager: Sean Kelly Miami VA Healthcare System (305) 575-7260 Manager: Richie Sanchez North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System Gainesville (352) 548-6492 Manager: Clay Perdue Orlando VA Medical Center (407) 631-9800 Manager: Terri Turner West Palm Beach VA Medical Center (561) 422-5554 Manager: Shelley Prickett

GEORGIA Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center Augusta (706) 729-5773 Manager: Courtney Deese Eisenhower Army Medical Center Fort Gordon (706) 787-7100 Manager: Francisco Cruz

HAWAII Tripler Army Medical Center Honolulu (808) 433-1291 x28 Manager: Misty Hironaka

ILLINOIS Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital Hines (708) 202-7154 Manager: Holly Wright

KENTUCKY Blanchfield Army Community Hospital Fort Campbell (270) 798-8330 Manager: Wendy J. Carlston

LOUISIANA Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System New Orleans (504) 507-6020 Manager: Debra Ceaser-Winbush

MAINE VA Maine Healthcare System Augusta (207) 623-8411 x7052 Manager: Patrick Crowley

MARYLAND Malcolm Grow Clinics & Surgery Center Andrews Air Force Base (301) 981-1243 Manager: Abe Gutierrez Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda (301) 295-5334 Manager: Michael Ybarra Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Silver Spring (301) 319-5442 Manager: Maurice Borde

MASSACHUSETTS VA Boston Healthcare System (857) 203-4000 Manager: Elizabeth St. Pierre

MICHIGAN VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System (734) 845-3055 Manager: April LaRock

MINNESOTA Minneapolis VA Health Care System (612) 467-5602 Manager: Missi Wendt

MISSISSIPPI Keesler Medical Center (228) 377-8264 Manager: Marc Ambrose

MISSOURI Kansas City VA Medical Center (816) 634-6415 Manager: Michael Unden

VA St. Louis Health Care System (314) 894-6145 Manager: Vanniecia Brown

NEBRASKA VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System Omaha (402) 930-7116 Manager: Colleen Vonderhaar

NEVADA VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System North Las Vegas (702) 224-6789 Manager: Stephanie Jo Wheeler

NEW MEXICO Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center Albuquerque (505) 265-1711 x3180 Manager: Christina Ramirez

NEW YORK Albany Stratton VA Medical Center (518) 626-6919 Manager: Michael Horning James J. Peters VA Medical Center Bronx (718) 584-9000 x2037 or x2039 Manager: Ellen Trbovich

NORTH CAROLINA Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune (910) 450-3885 Manager: Josie Cotton Womack Army Medical Center Fort Bragg (910) 849-3466 Manager: John Miller

OHIO Cincinnati VA Medical Center (513) 475-6571 Manager: Karrie Hagan Dayton VA Medical Center (937) 268-6511 x2887 Manager: Betsey Striebel Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center (216) 707-4800 x 24805 Manager: Wesley Freeman Wright-Patterson Medical Center (937) 257-0855 (Assistant) Manager: Diyor Nishanov



VA Portland Health Care System (360) 567-4647 Manager: Kelly Konikow

VA Salt Lake City Health Care System (801) 588-5900 Manager: Quinn Kiger-Good

PENNSYLVANIA VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (412) 360-2030 Manager: Heather Frantz

VIRGINIA Fort Belvoir Community Hospital (703) 805-5203 Manager: Roxannamaria Calderon

SOUTH CAROLINA Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center Charleston (843) 805-8200 Manager: Erik Zielinski

TENNESSEE Tennessee Valley Healthcare System Murfreesboro (615) 225-5758 Manager: Becky Wood


Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center Richmond (804) 675-6639 Manager: Wayne Walker Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (757) 953-6889 Manager: Jill Thompson

WASHINGTON Madigan Army Medical Center Joint Base Lewis-McChord (253) 967-5198 Manager: Vattana Garcia

Brooke Army Medical Center Joint Base San Antonio (210) 916-6000 Manager: Robyn Stewart Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Fort Hood (254) 286-7927 Manager: Candice Ualesi

VA Puget Sound Health Care System Seattle (206) 768-5353 Manager: Henry Mack

WEST VIRGINIA Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center Huntington (304) 429-8700 Manager: Jason Wyant

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Houston (713) 794-7766 Manager: Tamara Brunjes South Texas Veterans Health Care System San Antonio (210) 617-5542 Acting Manager: Elizabeth Cazares VA North Texas Health Care System Dallas (214) 857-4400 Manager: Lydia Henderson

WISCONSIN Zablocki VA Medical Center Milwaukee (414) 384-2000 x45005 or x45006 Manager: Jennifer Kiefer

GERMANY Landstuhl Regional Medical Center 011-49-6371-9464-7430 fax: 011-49-6371-866679 Manager: Sarafina Buchanan

Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center San Antonio Military UNITED KINGDOM Medical Center Queen Elizabeth Lackland Air Force Base Hospital Birmingham (210) 671-6175 0121-472-6217 Manager: Philip Harralson fax: 0121-41306897 Manager: Patrick Hogan William Beaumont Army Medical Center Fort Bliss (915) 742-1860 Manager: Alice Coleman



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

a home away from home

For more than 30 years, the Fisher House program has helped families stay with loved ones receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers, because we believe “A family’s love is good medicine.” These homes provide free, temporary lodging to military and veteran families so they can be close to their loved ones during medical crises.

CFC CODE: 11453

Since 1990: 430,000 families served | $547 million in savings | 11.5 million nights of lodging


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Landstuhl, Germany

= existing houses = houses under construction Numbers in parentheses indicate multiple houses at one location.

* As of April 2022 | (888) 294-8560

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