Heart Behind the House, Trustee, John Lowe
“It has been a privilege for me to serve alongside such a great team as Fisher House Foundation,” says John Lowe. “Zachary was a prince of man, but Ken’s passion and caring for the families of our military and Veterans is contagious. I’m proud to be part of not only the Foundation’s past, but of its next 25 years, too.”
As we look back on Fisher House Foundation’s 25 years, there are a hand-full of people who played key roles in its development and expansion virtually from the beginning. One of them is John Lowe, who has been a member of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees since its inception.
“It has been a labor of love,” said John, who is also the President and CEO of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine. “I knew and worked with three generations of Fishers – Zachary, Arnold and his brother Tony, and now Ken. Zachary was the impetus behind Fisher Houses, no doubt, but Ken has picked up the sword and carried it well.”
John has been to well over a dozen Fisher House openings, but the one he’s most proud of is the dedication of the Fisher House in Landstuhl, Germany. Talk of a home at Landstuhl started before the war in Iraq. John endeavored to convince those who were tentative about building a home outside the United States that this would be necessary in the very near future. History has proved him right, and we have since built a second home there.
“I could see that any conflict in SWA involving US troops ,” said John, who served as the chief of staff of the 7th Medical Command, U.S. Army Europe, “I knew the injured would be coming back to Germany first and I knew the families would want to be there by their side. It just made sense.” For the next 13 years, that is exactly what happened and Fisher House was there.
John served in the Army as a lieutenant in the 7th Infantry Division in Korea and a medical-evacuation helicopter pilot in the U.S. and Germany. He later served as the executive officer to the Army Surgeon General and from 1980-83 commanded the 44th Medical Brigade at Ft. Bragg. He has worked for the Henry M. Jackson Foundation since 1988.
When asked what he saw as Fisher House Foundation’s strengths, he said it was two-fold. First, Fisher House has a “very noble mission.” And secondly, “it executes that mission quickly and in the finest manner possible.” In large part, he credits that to the leadership of Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO, and Dave Coker, President.
“Funny story. One of my earliest roles as a trustee was to help select the Foundation’s first executive director. I had no idea who they were looking at, but because they knew of my Army background and Dave had been in the Army, they brought me his resume,” says John. “Well, who would have guessed? I not only knew Dave well from our time in Germany together, but I even had served with his dad.
“Without a moment’s hesitation I said, ‘you simply could do no better than to hire Dave Coker. Boy, was I right on that call!”
Throughout the decades that John has been on the Board of Trustees, he has served on the Audit Committee and the Executive Committee. His sage advice has played an important role in bringing Fisher House where it is today. In addition to his personal time, his Foundation supported Fisher House in the early days with free office space and IT support.
“It has been a privilege for me to serve alongside such a great team as Fisher House Foundation,” said John. “Zachary was a prince of man, but Ken’s passion and caring for the families of our military and Veterans is contagious. I’m proud to be part of not only the Foundation’s past, but of its next 25 years, too.”