While visiting my favorite Twitter and Blog sites for ideas for tomorrow’s Twitterpated Tuesdays post I came across a Tweet that is not only very serious, but one which hit me personally and which I totally support. Yeah, I know, uncharacteristic, but, well, sometimes even misguided folks come up with some good stuff.

Here’s the Tweet:

O’Hare & Associates (my law firm) will be sponsoring a military family for Christmas. Encourage your company to do the same for all they do. 10:24 AM Dec 3rd from web

This Tweet really hit home because I am a staunch (some say rabid) supporter of our military and their families. I commend Mayor Tim for his firm’s efforts, and for bringing this cause to our attention. But maybe you don’t have a company or firm that can do this. Maybe you yourself are unemployed and money is tight. You can still help. Let me tell you about the Fisher Houses located throughout the country.

I was introduced to the Fisher Houses at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio through my brother,  a proud Air Force veteran, who lives near there. Many of our wounded soldiers go to the Brooke Army Medical Centers at Fort Sam Houston for treatment and therapy, and while there the soldiers’ families stay free of charge at one of the Fisher Houses located on the base.

The furniture at the House I visited was donated by some very generous companies, and as most of the soldiers are young, with young families, it gets a lot of wear and tear. My brother and his friend Nelson volunteered to repair and strengthen around 60 dining room chairs and ottomans for the Fisher House. I was visiting my brother when they started this project, and had the pleasure of accompanying them when they collected the first load of furniture. Ms. Inge Godfrey showed us around and even arranged for us to meet some of the soldiers. I was totally smitten, and ended up extending my visit with my brother so that I could help with the furniture repairs. He and Nelson did the heavy lifting and wood repair while I got to be the upholstery expert. It was amazingly satisfying work and my brother and Nelson continue to help the Fisher Houses at Fort Sam. I help when I can.

Here’s a bit of information about the Fisher House from their website, which I have linked below:

The Fisher House™ Program

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 and the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Because members of the military and their families are stationed worldwide and must often travel great distances for specialized medical care, Fisher House™ Foundation donates “comfort homes,” built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times – during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.

There is at least one Fisher House™ at every major military medical center to assist families in need and to ensure that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment. Annually, the Fisher House™ program serves more than 10,000 families, and have made available nearly three million days of lodging to family members since the program originated in 1990. By law, there is no charge for any family to stay at a Fisher House operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs; and Fisher House Foundation uses donations to reimburse the individual Fisher Houses operated by the Army, Navy, and Air Force. No family pays to stay at any Fisher House!

In addition to constructing new houses, Fisher House™ Foundation continues to support existing Fisher Houses™ and help individual military families in need. We are also proud to administer and sponsor Scholarships for Military Children, the Hero Miles program, and co-sponsor the Newman’s Own Award

Now, you may not be able to repair furniture, and you may not be able to get to the San Antonio area as much as I do, but there are plenty of other ways to help this very worthy cause. Read more about the Fisher Houses here:

http://www.fisherhouse.org/theHouses/texas

I’m thinking this: with the Holiday season upon us there are probably a lot of young families with their soldiers at Fort Sam. What if the citizens of Farmers Branch got together to make this a special Christmas for those folks. How about it? One person alone may not make much of an impact, but a lot of us together could make the Holidays brighter for families who are going through trying times.

I’ll contact Ms. Godfrey to see what we can do, and I’ll keep you posted.

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