Keesler opens second Fisher House
By Capt. David J. Murphy, 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 13, 2018
KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss --
Leadership from the 81st Training Wing and the Fisher House Foundation cut the ribbon on the 76th Fisher House in the organization’s history here Feb. 6.
Keesler Air Force Base leadership, veterans, and local dignitaries including Biloxi Mayor, Andrew “Fo Fo” Gilich, gathered to dedicate the new facility. This is the second Fisher House at Keesler with the first open in 1992.
"Since opening Keesler's first Fisher House, the eighth for the entire foundation in 1992, there have been more than 7,000 families served right here at Keesler," said Col. Debra Lovette, 81st TRW commander. "And that's a combination of retirees, active duty and family members who find themselves in need of medical care. We have great medical care with our hospital and the Veterans Administration, so, many folks take advantage of that. With the opening of Keesler's second Fisher House, the 76th for the foundation, we will be able to support even more."
The Fisher House Foundation, started by Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher in 1991 with two homes, was able to support fewer than 3,000 families at the time, but this year the foundation will be able to support 33,000 families.
“One of the great things is the return on the investment,” said David Coker, Fisher House Foundation president. “The numbers we can support increases every year. As of the end of last year, families have saved over $407 million because of the services Fisher House has provided. When life happens and you need to be there . . . this our opportunity to provide that place to stay in a warm, caring environment where they’re with other families going through the same experience and just support one another.”
The foundation has been constructing their homes for almost 30 years and have helped thousands of families receive millions of nights of lodging, according to…
“Those people who are going through long-term illnesses come here and they stay for quite a while,” said Suzie Schwartz, Fisher House Foundation trustee. “It’s wonderful to see because so many of our houses are built at VA centers but to have another one built on an active duty installation is great.”