Fisher House helping keep families together as soldiers heal at SAMMC

By: Mayra Moreno
July 2, 2014
KENS5 San Antonio

It's the kind of life altering news a soldier's spouse doesn't want to receive: being injured while serving our country. During the healing process, a lot of soldiers come here to receive treatment at SAMMC. Thanks to the Fisher House program it helps keep couples and families together.

Almost every love story has its trials and tribulations.

"We’ve been married 2 years," said Valerie Baldenegro.

"I was injured in Afghanistan," said Army Sgt. David Baldenegro.
 
"I think I was in shock for the first 24 hours," said his wife.

Though they've only been married a short while, Valerie and Sgt. David Baldenegro are high school sweethearts from Arizona. 

"It's life altering being uprooted from where you are," said Valerie.

It was October 2012 when the couple's lives changed. Sgt. Baldenegro was hit with shrapnel on his right leg.

"It didn’t hit me until after I received a call that I would see him after he flew in," recalled Valerie.

Fast forward to today, Sgt. Baldenegro is stationed in San Antonio and receiving treatment at SAMMC. His high school sweetheart has been there every step of the way all thanks to the Fisher House program.

"It makes me feel blessed," she said. 

Spouses whose loved ones are undergoing treatment at SAMMC are able to stay there free. It's a home away from home until their soldier recovers.

"You don’t feel as alone as you are when you first get the news when you come here you meet others who have similar stories," she said. 

Without the program Valerie feels she wouldn't have been able to help her husband heal in more ways than one.

"We do depend a lot on your significant other," said the Sgt. "I think it's helpful mentally and physically I feel blessed as well."

Fisher House is funded by donations.

As for the couple, they said the first thing they want to do when they return home to Arizona is head over to Sgt. Baldenegro's mom's house and eat some hot dogs.

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