A Fisher House is a place for military veterans and their family to stay while their loved ones receive care at most military and veterans hospitals. I am speaking to you today because, as a retired Navy general surgeon, I am embarrassed to say that I knew nothing about this incredible option until I was a passenger in a plane crash and ended up being treated at the Army’s burn center in San Antonio. My, then, 80 plus year old parents were living in Orlando, Florida at the time and immediately drove out to be with me in a large city, completely unfamiliar to them. When they arrived at Brooke Army Medical Center, they were introduced to the Fisher House where they were invited to stay as long as necessary. There was no charge for this but the money saved at the time, compared to a local hotel, was the least of the benefit provided. The facility is comfortably furnished and is on the hospital grounds, a short walk, precluding the need for a daily commute. The proximity to the medical center allows families brief reprieves throughout the day and in a supportive atmosphere.
Storage pantries and cooking facilities, if not actual meals, were available day and night. Fisher Houses are designed to provide a community atmosphere that fosters emotional support. This allows family to focus on their loved ones needs without having to worry about anything else.
The Fisher House foundation builds these homes and the local military or veterans hospital staff and maintain them. The local Friends of the Fisher House groups provide financial support for upgrades, food, and operations for each local facility. I represent the Friends of Fisher House Orlando and I would ask you to consider donating to our charity or to the Fisher House foundation. Fisher Houses provide much needed and timely support to the families and loved ones of those who selflessly served our country. The Fisher House motto "A family's love is good medicine" is more true today than ever.