Washington, DC COMREL: Fisher House and Coat Drive

BY LT. JORDAN STEPHENS, SC, USN
NAVAL SEA SYSTEMS COMMAND

When a service member is injured in the line of duty, the road to recovery is often a very arduous one. The human cost of extended periods of rehabilitation and therapy can be tremendously difficult and seem overwhelming for the service member and their families. During these challenging times, what are often overlooked are the surmounting costs of travel, lodging, and meals for the families of the wounded. Since its inception, the Fisher House Foundation has actively worked to combat these costs, and the program has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $320 million in out of pocket costs for lodging, meals and transportation. Fisher House locations provide private bedrooms, baths, common kitchen rooms, laundry facilities and living and dining rooms for occupants.

(L to R): Lt. Cmdr. Deborah Davis-Reid, Lt. Darian Wilder, Lt. Cmdr. Monica Tate, Lt. Cmdr. Nicole Ponder, Lt. Cmdr. Brennan Kemper, Cmdr. Terrel Fisher

(L to R): Lt. Cmdr. Deborah Davis-Reid, Lt. Darian Wilder, Lt. Cmdr. Monica Tate, Lt. Cmdr. Nicole Ponder, Lt. Cmdr. Brennan Kemper, Cmdr. Terrel Fisher

In February, volunteers from the Supply Corps Washington, D.C. Area were honored to participate in an afternoon of camaraderie and meal preparation, and to assist with the much needed re-configuration of one of the facility’s largest storage rooms. Members got their hands dirty in the preparation of a delicious lasagna dinner, and were able to learn about the Fisher House and the services they are able to provide to those in need. Each day, more than 930 families are provided housing by the work of the Fisher House Foundation and over 277,000 families have been served quality meals since the inception of the organization. It was truly an honor to spend the day with such an incredible organization. Lt. Cmdr. Nicole Ponder summed up the experience by stating that “the COMREL [community relations] experience was an awesome opportunity to support such a great foundation. It’s always nice to give back to the community and in this case our military families. The added bonus was having such a great group of individuals to experience this with. Go Supply Corps!”

Lt. Cmdr. Kemper preparing dinner at the Fisher House, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Lt. Cmdr. Kemper preparing dinner at the Fisher House, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Thank you to all who were able to attend and thank you to the Fisher House for all of the tremendous work that you do! Special thanks also goes out to the Supply Corps officers in the DC/Maryland area who graciously donated a winter coat at this year’s All Calls event and the Supply Corps Roadshow. The donation drive was a success and the coats were donated to two charitable organizations, Thrive DC and Veterans on the Rise. Both organizations work to provide a wide range of services to the homeless population in the greater Washington, D.C. area. The Washington, D.C. area provides tremendous opportunities for continued community service projects and occasions for “giving back”. Thank you all for your continued support and enthusiasm, and keep your eye out for future COMREL events in your area.

July/August 2016