By Sachel Seabrook
Two years and one snip of the giant scissors later, the Fisher House, a safe-haven for families of ill and injured servicemembers, was dedicated here Sept. 10.
The new facility becomes the 44th Fisher House and is located only steps away from the Eglin hospital and veteran's clinic. It provides free lodging to veterans and military families receiving treatment at military medical centers.
To date, the Fisher House Foundation has helped over 500,000 families.
"As impressive as that is, it's not enough," said foundation president David Coker.
Among those in attendance were Maj. Gen. C.R. Davis, Commander of the Air Armament Center, retired Col. George E. "Bud" Day and U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller.
"They call it a house, but we all know it is much more than that. It's a home," said the congressman.
The Fisher House of the Emerald Coast houses 12 family suites. Nationwide, the Fisher House program has offered more than three million days of lodging to people in need.
The Fisher House program was established by Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher in 1990, who dedicated more than $20 million to the construction of comfort homes for families of hospitalized military personnel.
The Fisher House Foundation provides "comfort homes," built on major military instillations and VA medical centers for military personnel and their families who are stationed worldwide and must often travel great distances for medical care. There is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center.
"Holidays, birthdays & anniversaries have been celebrated with tears and smiles with people who truly understand what the other person is experiencing."
- Kamryn Jaroszewski