Fisher House Wisconsin Groundbreaking Event a Success
Today, the Milwaukee Brewers and Brewers Community Foundation participated in the groundbreaking of Fisher House Wisconsin at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee. The ceremony took place in front of a standing room crowd of over 400 people.
Included in the dignitaries were Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers television play-by-play announcer Bill Schroeder, Executive Director, Brewers Community Foundation Cecelia Gore, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Congresswoman Gwen Moore (4th Congressional District, Wisconsin).
The afternoon ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance which was led by Medal of Honor Recipient Gary Wetzel. A South Milwaukee native, Wetzel was awarded a Medal of Honor for actions he performed in the Vietnam War. It was an honor to be in the presence of someone so brave and the respect he was given all afternoon was incredible and well-deserved.
Gore, Walker and Moore all spoke at the event to talk about the importance of the Fisher House to Milwaukee and Wisconsin. Also on hand to speak today was Dan Buttery who spearheaded fundraising efforts to get Fisher House built here, and, Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation. Fisher, an avid baseball fan, admitted to being a bit nervous as he will be throwing out the first pitch tonight at Miller Park.
The Fisher House program is a unique, private-public partnership that supports America’s military in their time of need. The program recognizes the special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, as well as the hardships of military service, by offering shelter and support during a medical crisis. Located on the grounds of VA hospitals and other military medical centers, Fisher House facilities give a comforting “home away from home” while a loved one is receiving care in an unfamiliar environment.
Fisher House provides an option for military and veterans’ families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee. Nationwide, Fisher House served over 22,000 families last year at its 64 houses.
Currently, 8,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are utilizing the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center for treatment of their wounds and injuries. Without Fisher House, they must arrange overnight accommodations at area hotels or with friends and family during their course of treatment.
The need is so great that the future Milwaukee home will be one of the largest built in the United States of America, allowing veterans and their families living beyond 50 miles from the Milwaukee VA hospital to stay overnight at no cost. Fisher House Wisconsin is scheduled to open in the Summer of 2015.
Fisher House Wisconsin will be over 13,000 square feet inside with 16 bedroom suites capable of accommodating up to eight people per suite. The warm and comfortable interior of the suites will be professionally decorated and beautifully furnished. Functionally, guests and their families will have access to well stocked kitchens and inviting living rooms, complete with a library and toys for children. Highly trained staff and caring volunteers are available to help all Fisher House guests.
For more information on Fisher House, please visit FisherHouse.org.