CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Camp Pendleton opened the doors May 15, to new, free temporary housing facilities for military families visiting wounded Marines and Sailors at the base Naval Hospital.
Brig. Gen. Edward D. Banta, Commanding General, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Installations – West, and Kenneth Fisher, chairman and chief executive officer of the Fisher House Foundation responsible for establishing the facilities, were present for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
The $2.65 million project spans 8,000 square-feet and is expected to accommodate more than 280 military families that are visiting their loved ones at the base hospital.
“With this house here now, we have the ability to take care of our families as they should be cared for, so our Marines and Sailors won’t have to worry about their families at a time when they really need them most,” said Brig. Gen. Banta.
This is the third housing project launched by the Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Rockville, Maryland, that runs 64 houses at military and Veteran’s Affairs medical centers across the country. Two other housing centers launched near Balboa Park at the Naval Medical Center San Diego.
Free child care is also available for the military families staying at the house through the base’s Zach and Elizabeth Fisher Child Development Center, which is funded through a grant from the UnitedHealth Foundation’s Caregiver Support Program.
“The Fisher House Foundation and this building are so important to us, when a Marine or Sailor is sick or injured, there is no stronger healing power than having their family and loved ones by their side,” said John. H. Mateczum, president of the UnitedHealthcare Military and Veterans. “This opening is going to make it possible for 280 families a year to be near their loved ones during that healing period.”
The Fisher House Foundation also offers the Hero Miles program and Hotels for Heroes, which uses donated frequent flier miles and hotel points to provide family members with travel and accommodation opportunities to get to wounded military relatives.
“We, as Americans, must take an oath as those that wear the uniform or wore the uniform take,” said Fisher. “To support their families, to take care of them and promote them. That is what Fisher House is about.”
The Fisher House Foundation has served more than 220,000 families since its inception in 1991.