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Keesler opens second Fisher House

Keesler Opens 2nd Fisher House

A Fisher House flag is flown outside of the Fisher House II during a ribbon cutting ceremony Feb. 6, 2018, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The Fisher House program is a unique private-public partnership established to improve the quality of life for military members, retirees, veterans and their families. The program has served over 305,000 families for a cost savings in excess of $400 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Keesler Opens 2nd Fisher House

Keesler leadership and Fisher House representatives participate in the Fisher House II Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Feb. 6, 2018, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The Fisher House program is a unique private-public partnership established to improve the quality of life for military members, retirees, veterans and their families. The program has served over 305,000 families for a cost savings in excess of $400 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Keesler Opens 2nd Fisher House

Larry Vetter, 81st Medical Group Fisher House director, displays the Fisher House II key during the Fisher House II Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Feb. 6, 2018, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The Fisher House program is a unique private-public partnership established to improve the quality of life for military members, retirees, veterans and their families. The program has served over 305,000 families for a cost savings in excess of $400 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Keesler Opens 2nd Fisher House

Larry Vetter, 81st Medical Group Fisher House director, accepts a check from retired U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bulus Leflore, Mississippi Magnolia Special Military Active Recreational Travelers Chapter president, during the Fisher House II Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Feb. 6, 2018, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The Fisher House program is a unique private-public partnership established to improve the quality of life for military members, retirees, veterans and their families. The program has served over 305,000 families for a cost savings in excess of $400 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Keesler Opens 2nd Fisher House

Suzie Schwartz, Fisher House trustee, presents the Fisher House II key to Larry Vetter, 81st Medical Group Fisher House director, during the Fisher House II Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Feb. 6, 2018, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The Fisher House program is a unique private-public partnership established to improve the quality of life for military members, retirees, veterans and their families. The program has served over 305,000 families for a cost savings in excess of $400 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Keesler Opens 2nd Fisher House

Col. Debra Lovette, 81st Training Wing commander, speaks with Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich, Biloxi Mayor, during the Fisher House II Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Feb. 6, 2018, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The Fisher House program is a unique private-public partnership established to improve the quality of life for military members, retirees, veterans and their families. The program has served over 305,000 families for a cost savings in excess of $400 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Keesler Opens 2nd Fisher House

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Phyllis Luttman sits in the audience during the Fisher House II Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Feb. 6, 2018, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The Fisher House program is a unique private-public partnership established to improve the quality of life for military members, retirees, veterans and their families. The program has served over 305,000 families for a cost

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.”