Department of France Vice Commander Stephen Ward recently presented a donation in the amount of $600 to Vivian L. Wilson, manager of the Fisher House at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Wilson then presented the department with a Certificate of Appreciation.
The Fisher House program is a unique private-public partnership that supports America's military in their time of need. The program recognizes the special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Because members of the military and their families are stationed worldwide and must often travel great distances for specialized medical care, the Fisher House Foundation donates "comfort homes," built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times - during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.
There is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center to assist families in need and to ensure that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment. Annually, the Fisher House program serves more than 17,000 families, and have made available more than 4 million days of lodging to family members since the program originated in 1990. By law, there is no charge for any family to stay at a Fisher House operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs; and the Fisher House Foundation uses donations to reimburse the individual Fisher Houses operated by the Army, Navy and Air Force. No family pays to stay at any Fisher House! In addition to constructing new houses, the Fisher House Foundation continues to support existing Fisher Houses and help individual military families in need. We are also proud to administer and sponsor Scholarships for Military Children, the Hero Miles program, and co-sponsor the Newman's Own Award.
A Fisher House is "a home away from home" for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. The homes are normally located within walking distance of the treatment facility or have transportation available. There are 58 Fisher Houses located on 23 military installations and 21 VA medical centers. Many more houses are under construction or in design. Fisher Houses have full-time salaried managers, but depend on volunteers and voluntary support to enhance daily operations and program expansion.