Foundation helps military families

Don Robbins

Editor, Ho‘okele

The sixth annual Fisher House 8K Hero and Remembrance Run, Walk or Roll will be held Sept. 9 on Ford Island.

“This event was created to raise awareness about the Fisher House mission,” said Theresa Johnson, who created the remembrance event.

Recent tragedies such as the loss of Sailors who died following incidents involving the USS John McCain (DDG 56), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and Army Soldiers lost after a helicopter crash off Oahu’s Kaena Point bring the Fisher House Foundation’s mission into focus, Johnson said.

Fisher House works with the military branches and affected members not covered by government orders to provide them with dignified transfer flights at no cost, Johnson said.

“Fisher House is there to step up for them,” Johnson said. “Fisher House does a lot behind the scenes that a lot of people don’t realize. They look out for the families of the fallen. Fisher House tries to be there for the families from the minute there is a tragedy.”

According to the website www.fisherhouse.org, Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comforting homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment.

These homes are located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide, close to the medical center or hospital they serve, including one in Hawaii at Tripler Army Medical Center.

Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge, Johnson said.

The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans.

Besides being the creator of the 8K remembrance run, Johnson is a Fisher House manager. She is also a former Fisher House resident who needed their assistance when her son, an Army service member, was injured.

“I had to walk that mile too. Fisher House Foundation helped fly me from Hawaii to Germany,” Johnson said.

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Category: News