Military News

Friday, August 07, 2015

Fisher House receives additional rooms

by Airman Christopher R. Morales
JBER Public Affairs

8/6/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- A dedication for the Fisher House Annex was hosted at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Warrior Transition Unit July 28 in honor of the 22 new rooms providing shelter for service members and family in need of medical attention.

The WTU provided a wing of its building due to the high demand for shelter for families with a member hospitalized on base.

"The people occupying these new rooms are active duty and their adult family members; parents, spouses, and high-risk pregnancies," said Jenny Hall, Alaska Fisher House manager.

"The original Fisher House is used for our families with children and the veteran population."

The Alaska Fisher House serves all branches of the military; Reservists, Guardsmen, retirees, veterans, and their family members, as it has for the past three years.

Coast Guard Commander David Landro, from U.S. Coast Guard Base Kodiak, and his wife were given a room during the last two months of her pregnancy.

He was not able to be with her in the beginning, so she lived at the Fisher House without any family for a time - but she was not alone.

"It was nice to know the staff was there, like a home, and not only that, but the other people staying as well," Cmdr. Landro said. "There was a bond; they were all friends with each other.

"When the time came, finding a hotel, particularly for a family, was very expensive and difficult," he said. "We were able to go to the Fisher House as a family and take care of ourselves in a comfortable situation."

Spc. Cory Kaldwell, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, a food service specialist at Fort Wainwright, came to the JBER hospital for surgery.

"We came here July 1, and my surgery was planned for July 7, but was pushed back until July 21," Kaldwell said.

"We thought we were going to lose the room and everything, but were reassured the Fisher House would hold the room for us."

"So far everything has been better than great, actually better than being at home," Kaldwell said. "Having the house here is completely convenient."

Kaldwell is staying in the new Fisher House rooms recovering from surgery and has a couple more surgeries to go.

In the meantime, he is taken care of not by only the staff, but also his husband.

"This helps him and it makes it easier for me to take care of him because we have everything here, even food," said Alex Ivanov, Kaldwell's husband.

The Fisher House is a non-profit organization, which functions on donations, contributions and volunteers.

"Volunteer support from our community is very important; whether it be from people hosting meals, donating things like bottled water and toothpaste, or simply time to help out," Hall said.

"We need all those things, and because we are a separate location we're going to need double the help."

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