News 12 This Morning / Tuesday, July 5, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- More than 10,000 troops will be headed back from Afghanistan as early as this month and some of them will receive care from places like the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center.
The new Fisher House that is near completion expects to help more families of those wounded warriors.
The Fisher House is located right next to the medical center on Wrightsboro Road. It's designed to be a home away from home for families of wounded warriors. One Lori Porter, the sister of a wounded warrior, wishes she could live in right now.
"It would be a great benefit not having to get up every morning two hours early," Porter said. "To make it over here, it would give us more time to spend with our wounded warriors."
Porter is living in the Fisher House on base at Fort Gordon now, so she can be closer to her brother who is in the active duty rehab unit at the VA.
"It takes about an hour a day just to get here. Going from Fort Gordon to the VA uptown," Porter said.
The new home is a multi-million dollar facility. Complete with 20 bedrooms and handicap-accessible rooms, it's a project that's taken 18 months to complete.
"A big beautiful kitchen with four refrigerators, a stand-up freezer and a laundry room with three washers and three dryers," said Anne Arnold, manager of the Fisher House.
It has all the necessities family members like Porter would need while their loved ones are being taken care of next door.
"They get to be with them to help aid in their recovery and rehab process," Arnold said.
For Porter, it's the little things in the floor plan that matter.
"Like fixing meals you run into other families, and it's been a great support system because you run into other families who are going through the same thing or similar situations," she said.
Nearly half of the funding for this house came from the community.
"It just shows how much the community cares about the recovery and rehab of wounded warriors and veterans," Arnold said.
Porter is happy more families will be able to benefit when this home opens up.
"It's also taken such a financial burden off of the families; otherwise we'd be looking at commuting back and forth from our homes or trying to afford a hotel around the area," she said.
Families will begin moving in before the ribbon cutting Sept. 29. They're able to stay there up to 90 days. If they need to stay longer, it can be worked out based on their situation.
Volunteers and donations will still be needed while the Fisher House opens its operations. The house manager says that time and funding will go toward maintaining the house and taking care of the families.
If you're interested in volunteering, contact Anne Arnold at (706) 729-5773. Or visit the Fisher House website at fisherhouse.org.