By Karen Graham
Richmond is the Home of the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veteran's Administration Medical Center, located on Brook Road not far off Hull Street on Richmond's Southside.
Veterans in the Henrico and greater Richmond Metropolitan area have used this facility for many years. Many residents can remember the military barracks that comprised the extent of the hospital when it was first constructed after WWII. Many more may remember coming home wounded, and staying at McGuire.
Today, our young veterans returning from combat have a much more up-to-date structure greeting them, ready to meet their varied needs. Their families will also find something that families of veterans years ago didn't have.
Most people have heard of the Ronald McDonald House. The VA hospital here in Richmond has The Fisher House. It is a home-away-from-home for those family members needing to be near while their veteran is receiving treatment at McGuire.
The Fisher House Foundation is best known for it's network of homes built on the grounds of major military and VA medical facilities. Varying in size from 5,000 to 16,000 square feet in size, the houses are donated to the military and the Dept. of Veterans Affairs.
Each home has 8-21 suites with private bathrooms, along with shared kitchen, dining, living room and laundry facilities. They also have a library and toys for the little ones. The foundation ensures there is no fee to any family for use of the home.
The foundation has saved military and veterans families over $165 million in out-of-pocket expenses for lodging and transportation since they started. For further information about this organization, or to make a donation to them, the telephone no. is: (804) 675-5000, extension 6639 or 6601.
"Holidays, birthdays & anniversaries have been celebrated with tears and smiles with people who truly understand what the other person is experiencing."
- Kamryn Jaroszewski