By the end of the year, a new Fisher House will open outside the Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital in San Antonio. Fisher Houses provide room and board at no charge for relatives of severely wounded servicemembers.
The $6 million, privately-funded house will have 16 guest rooms and 15,000 square feet for families of Veterans and military personnel receiving treatment or rehabilitative care.
“We know that a family’s love is good medicine,” said Marie Weldon, Director of the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, at the groundbreaking ceremony.
When the nation’s fifth Polytrauma Rehabilitaion Center opened next to Audie Murphy, the hospital was put on a list for a Fisher House to be built. Patients with combat injuries and other complex issues who are in polytrauma centers stay an average of 36-63 days, according to a recent U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) report.
“This house will provide a home-away-from-home for 16 families where they can rally around their loved ones,” said Dave Coker, Fisher House Foundation President. “They can focus on the healing process without worrying about the cost and burden of finding a place to stay in San Antonio.”
Annually, the Fisher House program serves more than 12,000 families, and over three million days of lodging have been available to family members since the program originated in 1990. The first local Fisher House, at Lackland Air Force Base, was dedicated in 1992. There are now three at Lackland and four at Fort Sam Houston.
Construction began in March, and the Fisher House will be open for families of servicemembers by the end of 2012.
"Holidays, birthdays & anniversaries have been celebrated with tears and smiles with people who truly understand what the other person is experiencing."
- Kamryn Jaroszewski