Hearts Behind the House

As part of the Fisher House Foundation’s 25th Anniversary, we will be featuring 25 stories of people who have helped build, and people who have benefited from, Fisher Houses.  Called Heart Behind the House, we hope to give people a better understanding of the wide variety of people who make it all happen, from Fisher House managers to architects, from trustees to volunteers.  You will read why and how corporations support our numerous programs.  And most importantly, you will read stories about how the programs of Fisher House have  helped military, veterans and their families.  We will be putting new stories up throughout the year, so we hope you come back often.

Heart Behind the Snow, Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz, worked behind the scenes at Naval Support Activity Bethesda Hospital to ensure the area was safe during snowstorms. Fisher Houses all across the world are supported by countless individuals like Barry who support the home and those who reside within their walls. Read his story here.

Heart Behind the Numbers, Chief Accountant Coreen Burnett

Fisher House Foundation’s Chief Accountant, Coreen Burnett has been with the Foundation for nearly seven years. Read about what she calls, her “forever job” here.

Caring From the Beginning, Manager Vivian Wilson

“When you have purpose and you are in a position to make life easier and more comfortable for people going through a difficult time, it’s a good feeling,” Vivian Wilson said. “You want to be there to help for as long as you can.” Vivian began her career with the Fisher House program in 1991, when the first Fisher House opened at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. Read her story here.

The Heart of An Architect, Carl Zarrello

Carl Zarrello has been working for the Foundation since 2002, creating the ever-evolving design of a Fisher House. His passion for design has only been amplified during his tenure with Fisher House, and he brings something very special to these homes. Read Carl's story here.

From a Medical Perspective, Dr. Evan Renz

Dr. Evan Renz, is the Commanding Officer at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. Dr. Renz has served in the US military for over 30 years, and has cared for the most severely injured and wounded. Because of his work, he’s seen the services provided through Fisher House.  Read his story here.


Fisher House Family, The Scotts

While Lilly rushed to be by her husband’s side. Her first stop was to the Fisher House. “Immediately I felt the warmth,” she said. “I felt that even though I was crying, I felt comfortable and safe.” Read the Scott's Fisher House story here

Heart Behind the LA Fisher House, Manager Sharon Hudson

When Sharon Hudson became familiar with the Fisher House mission, she was so inspired that she jumped at the opportunity to become Fisher House manager in West Los Angeles, nearly seven years ago.  Serving Veterans at the Fisher House has taught her some very important lessons. Read Sharon's story here.

We Are the Hearts Behind the House, Vice President Strategic Partnerships Tish Stropes

"As a military spouse, and mother of two, my life is quite full like each and every one of yours.  But, at the end of the day, I look back and consider myself blessed with a job that makes me part of the Fisher House family." Read Tish Stropes, Fisher House VP of Strategic Partnerships tell you about working for Fisher House here.

Healing with Fisher House, Carpenter Family

The latest feature of Heart Behind the House highlights Corporal Kyle Carpenter, USMC. Kyle’s family spent time in two Fisher Houses after he was injured in Afghanistan. On June 19, 2014, Kyle became the youngest living recipient of the Medal of Honor, and was presented the award in a White House ceremony. Read his Fisher House story here.

Heart of Caring, Newman's Own's Tom Indoe

“Working for Newman’s Own was the most rewarding job I’ve ever had,” said Tom Indoe.  “That was because of its mission of giving back.  It’s a business with great people doing great things, and Fisher House has always been a part of that.” Read about Tom's time with Newman's Own and the special partnership with Fisher House Foundation here

Heart of A Doctor, Dr. Dennis Hollins

Dr. Dennis Hollins of the Charlie Norwood VA Hospital created a unique program that supports active duty and veterans rehabilitate. Dr. Hollins witnesses first-hand the support family provides in the healing process. Read his story here

Flying with Heart, United Airline's Georgia Kingsley

Georgia Kingsley is a Representative in the Global Services Customer Care Division of United Airlines. Georgia, who has been with United for 37 years, is just one of their employees who continues to partner with, and support Fisher House Foundation. Read Georgia's story here.

Heart of A Caregiver, Minie Curry

This is Minie’s story - a story of one woman’s undying devotion to her husband and her three children, two of whom have special needs.  It’s a story everyone needs to read to better understand what families like the Curry’s have gone through and will continue to go through for decades to come, a little recognized war fought right here on our own soil every day. Read the story of a caregiver who gives so much here.

United in Care, Dr. John Mateczun

The latest feature of Heart Behind the House highlights UnitedHealthcare President, John Mateczun, M.D. UnitedHealthcare has played an integral part of the future Fisher House at Camp Pendleton, which opened in May 2015. “It’s a privilege for us to be able to serve those who so admirably serve us,” said Mateczun. Read his story.

Partner with Heart, Bonnie Carroll

Bonnie Carroll serves as president of TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) the organization that supports those who have lost loved ones who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Here she shares the importance of their work and their partners who make supporting families a reality. Read here. 

Finding their Way Home, Dale & Belinda Beatty

On November 15, 2004 Dale Beatty was injured when an IED explosion flipped his Humvee, which resulted in Dale losing both of his legs. “It’s amazing how clear everything becomes when you think your next breath could be your last.” Read Dale's story here.

Putting Her Heart on the Walls, Interior Designer, Beverly Archer-Miears

The latest feature of Heart Behind the House highlights Foundation interior designer, Beverly Archer-Miears. Beverly decorates each Fisher House, helping to turn these beautiful houses into homes. She is responsible for all the welcoming furniture, artwork and aesthetics in each home. Read Beverly's story.

Family Together, Crabbe Family

“Let me tell you, these families understand what you’re going through,” Maureen said. “When we first got here, the shock is overwhelming; you don’t realize the fog you’re in. But when you’ve got another family welcoming you and promising you things will get better, it’s amazing.” Read the Crabbe family's story here.

Trustee From the Beginning, John Lowe

“It has been a privilege for me to serve alongside such a great team as Fisher House Foundation,” says John Lowe.  “Zachary was a prince of man, but Ken’s passion and caring for the families of our military and Veterans is contagious.  I’m proud to be part of not only the Foundation’s past, but of its next 25 years, too.” Read John Lowe's story here.

Hotels for Heroes Champion, La Quinta Inns & Suites, Derek Blake

“We can make a difference.  Each one of us can make a difference,” exclaimed Derek Blake.  “And when you work for a company that truly believes supporting the military is the right thing to do – that’s important." Read about La Quinta Inns & Suites and Derek Blake's involvement with Fisher House here. 

Fisher House Builder, Tony Garczynski

The latest feature of Stories Behind the House, highlights builder Tony Garczynski. Tony and his company are responsible for turning blueprints of Fisher Houses into a reality for military families. He has been working with the Foundation for over two decades, providing quality homes for our families. "I have always enjoyed building custom homes, as there is a great deal of personal satisfaction in helping a family create their dream home.  With the Fisher Houses, the satisfaction is even greater because we are creating a beautiful home for many families to use during one of the most challenging times of their lives." Read Tony's story. 

Together with Hero Miles, Greg and Steve Galeazzi

When Greg Galeazzi was injured in May 2011, his brother Steve Galeazzi, along with other members of their family, were recipients of the Foundation’s Hero Miles program, while also being guests of the Brooke Army Medical Center Fisher House during Greg’s recovery. “You’re in such a state of overwhelming sadness and confusion that you just want to be there to support your loved one. From day one, Hero Miles made being able to support Greg a reality.” Read their story. 

VA Fisher House Program Manager, Jennifer Koget

Jennifer Koget is the VA National Fisher House and Family Hospitality Program Manager, overseeing all 26 VA Fisher Houses. "I believe in my heart that we should give however we can in life.  For me, personally and professionally, it’s providing support to Veterans and their families in their time of need.”

Keep reading to find out why Fisher House is so important to her.

Fisher House Guest & Korean War Veteran, Joseph Krebs

“Every morning, when I pass their statue, I not only salute, I thank them for their amazing generosity.  Just don’t know what I would do without the Fisher House,” Read Mr. Krebs' story.