As Matthew Zajac lay in a hospital bed, faced with life without both of his legs following an Humvee attack in Iraq, the young soldier wanted just one thing — his father by his side. "He was the anchor that tied me back to reality."
Mike Zajac immediately rushed to his son's side. But once at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, reality sunk in. Mike was in a foreign city with no money for a hotel. "I figured I'd pitch a tent in front of the hospital if I had to."
But thanks to the Fisher House Foundation, a unique private-public partnership, Mike would spend the next 14 months in a home specifically built to offer free housing to loved ones caring for hospitalized retired and active duty service members.
The facility that helped Mike is one of 57 Fisher Houses in 21 states, Washington, D.C. and Germany. In fact, there is at least one Fisher House near every major military medical center in the U.S. And now, six more facilities are under construction, including one near the Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital in the San Antonio Medical Center.
On Wednesday, April 18, Steve Speakes, USAA EVP External Affairs, and David Bohne, president of the USAA Bank, were on hand for the presentation of two checks totaling $500,000 intended to aid the construction of the San Antonio facility. Nearly half of the proceeds were raised by USAA employees and retirees during this year's annual Bowlathon.
"I am humbled by the commitment, teamwork and generosity of everyone at USAA," said Ken Fisher, CEO and Chairman of the Fisher House Foundation. "It's inspiring to see how the intangibles that are such a part of the USAA corporate culture are making possible this Fisher House, a tangible symbol of our support for the military."
"Holidays, birthdays & anniversaries have been celebrated with tears and smiles with people who truly understand what the other person is experiencing."
- Kamryn Jaroszewski