Fisher House Chairman & CEO Ken Fisher is carrying on the wonderful program first created by his great uncle Zachary Fisher. To date, the Fisher House has provided support to over 430,000 military and Veteran families in the form of free lodging and travel.
Neither Ken nor Zachary served in the military. But when Zach heard the USS Intrepid was going to be scrapped he led an initiative to have the ship preserved and converted to a museum that hosts over 1 million guests a year.
Shortly thereafter he received a phone call from Pauline Trost, wife of the then Chief of Naval Operations. She witnessed a family arriving at Bethesda Naval Medical Center and, knowing the average cost of hotel rooms in the area, wondered where this family was going to stay while visiting their injured loved one. As a very successful builder, Zach had the solution. He and his wife dedicated more than $20 million to the construction of the first Fisher House. The foundation is now “on the road” to building their 100th home.
The homes provide no cost lodging to families of ill or injured Veterans and are built with easy access to Veterans Administration hospitals. Homes can be as large as 21 suites and provide both privacy and communal spaces. A very powerful element of these homes is that every family understands what the other is going through and provides a natural support system.
Other Fisher House programs include “Hero Miles” which provide free airfare using donated frequent flyer miles and “Hotels for Heroes” which provides free hotel rooms in areas where no Fisher House has been built. Listeners are encouraged to donate their frequent traveler bonuses in support of these families.
TAKEAWAY: “There are sacrifices being made on our behalf and behind every person in uniform there is a family. The American people should never think that just saying thank you is enough.”