Supporting our Service Members Together with USAA and The USAA Foundation, Inc.

By: By Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation
August 24, 2017

I often speak about the “magic” that happens inside a Fisher House. It is something that has to be seen to be believed. Families rallying around each other on good days and bad, and being champions for their service member or veteran.

When the Fisher House program was founded over 25 years ago, we couldn’t imagine the impact it would have – and continue to have – on service members, veterans and their families.

What my Uncle Zachary started has now become a great example of what we can do together to support those who fight for this great nation.

Fisher House Foundation is a public-private partnership. We work together with the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to build these homes to support military and veterans’ families while their loved ones are receiving medical care. We could not do it alone or without the support of individual donors and companies who help us fulfill our mission each and every day.

We have had the privilege of working USAA, USAA Bank and The USAA Foundation, Inc., whose long history of support illustrates how much they care for our heroes. They see it as an extension of USAA’s mission and brand promise to go above for those who have gone beyond. Compassion for our military is not only shown at the organizational level, but also by USAA employees, who volunteer at Fisher Houses across the country – planning meals, decorating for the holidays, and gardening.

Their commitment and teamwork is humbling. We not only see what they are doing, but we also feel it. Our service members, veterans and their families feel it too. They are making an impact on military and local communities throughout the nation.

The USAA Foundation’s history of giving continues today. In addition to the funds they have donated over the years to help us build Fisher Houses across the nation, we recently received a $750,000 grant from The USAA Foundation to support our “Sponsor a Family” program. This program ensures that military families do not have to pay out-of-pocket to stay at Fisher Houses located on military installations while their veteran or service member is receiving medical care. Families can stay as long as they need to, which can sometimes be weeks or months. Eliminating that potential financial burden helps keep families together, which can help speed recovery. The USAA Foundation made this grant as part of their efforts to support military family resiliency, which is exactly what the “Sponsor a Family” program is all about.

It is inspiring to see how the intangibles that are part of the USAA corporate culture are making possible the tangible support of our military families.

I recently learned about a USAA employee, Retired Army Master Sergeant Todd Nelson, who was severely burned in 2007 by a roadside bombing in Afghanistan. After awakening from a coma with severe injuries, he turned to Fisher House for his recovery beyond his hospital stay.

“By the grace of God, I was accepted to the Fisher House on the BAMC [Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas] hospital grounds. I could get between the hospital and my room within my visual and physical limits and get food prepared the way I needed,” Todd said.

Through strength of character and perseverance, Todd has moved forward in his recovery journey and has successfully transitioned to a meaningful career beyond his military service.

Now that’s what I call “military family resiliency.”

Heroes like Todd are those we get to serve every day at Fisher House. We are able to not only support our service members, but also their families. The Fisher House Foundation and USAA know the entire family serves, and makes sacrifices for our nation. It is our solemn duty and privilege to support them now and for as long as we are able. Organizations like USAA and The USAA Foundation allow us to continue that mission – together. 

The USAA Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization, does not endorse or promote any commercial supplier, product or service. USAA is the sponsor of The USAA Foundation.