New Fisher House Breaks Ground at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

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Facility to Provide Lodging for Service Members, Veterans, and Military Families

Fisher House Foundation, which provides comfort homes for military and veteran families, is expanding into the Pacific Northwest. On Thursday, Sept 25, 2014, Fisher House Foundation will break ground on a new Fisher House for military families to support a loved one hospitalized for wounds, injuries, or illnesses. Fisher House Foundation president David A. Coker will join COL H. Charles “Chuck” Hodges, Jr., commander of Joint Base Lewis-McChord and COL Ramona Fiorey, commander of Madigan Army Medical Center, and community supporters to officially commence construction.

“We are thrilled to expand our network of Fisher Houses in the Northwest,” said David Coker. “This home will be the second at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and we consider ourselves fortunate to continue to support this community. When a military family has their world turned upside down, they can take comfort in knowing the Fisher House will be there for them.”

In a Joint Base Lewis-McChord news release sent Tuesday, Col. H. Charles Hodges Jr., JBLM installation commander, said, “Fisher Houses provide safe, comfortable environments for the families of our service members during what can be very stressful times. Having a second facility so close to our hospital on Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be a great resource for our military community.”

The new 10,000 sq. ft. Fisher House will join an original home that has provided a safe haven for soldiers, veterans, and their families since 1992. Because this home had a waiting list for many years, a second home will now add 12 suites to the existing seven, and will offer welcoming common areas including a well-appointed kitchen; large communal living, dining and family rooms; and patio. The home will be posthumously dedicated to long-time Fisher House supporter General John Shalikashvili, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Seattle-Tacoma community has taken a dynamic role in supporting the construction of this new Fisher House. Bonneville Seattle radio stations energized their listener base through a Fisher House construction campaign, garnering hundreds of individual donations. Friends of the VA Puget Sound Fisher House also supported the construction of this new home. Delta Air Lines contributed significantly to the construction, leading the way with their corporate gift. Delta leadership and personnel continued their support during the ground breaking, with several uniformed employees taking part in the ceremony.

“Delta is dedicated to supporting active military and veterans through our Force for Global Good,” said Tad Hutcheson, Delta’s Vice President for Community Affairs. “We are proud to partner with Fisher House Foundation to build the second facility at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.”

This new Fisher House will open in 2015 to serve military and veterans’ families.

About Fisher House
Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. These homes are located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide and in Europe, close to the medical center or hospital it serves. 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 inception, the program has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $235 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.

Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans.

About Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest's Puget Sound region, Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) is the Defense Department's premiere military installation on the West Coast. Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) provides world-class installation support to more than 40,000 active, Guard and Reserve Service members and about 15,000 civilian workers. The base supports 60,000 family members who live on and outside the base, and nearly 30,000 military retirees living within 50 miles.

JBLM was formally established as one of 12 joint bases worldwide on Oct. 1, 2010. The merger of the former Fort Lewis (est. 1917) and McChord Air Force Base (est. 1947) was directed by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord provides state-of-the-art training and infrastructure, responsive quality of life programs, and fully-capable mobilization and deployment operations for Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Manage resources efficiently and equitably to support mission readiness and execution, and the well-being of service members, families, and civilians. Sustain and protect the environment as a fully-integrated community partner in the lower Puget Sound, with a highly-trained and motivated workforce.

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Kerri Childress
Fisher House Foundation
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James Frayne
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