Wounded Warrior and Wife Speak to USAMITC about the Fisher House
November 21, 2011
FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEXAS -- A Wounded Warrior and his wife spoke about the Fisher House at a recent U.S. Army Medical Information Technology Center Commander's Call. This event took place at the Blesse Auditorium on Fort Sam Houston. On behalf of the Fisher House at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), and in an effort to help kick off the Combined Federal Campaign, Army Staff Sgt. Keith Dunn and his wife Kandi Dunn both gave heartfelt presentations on the Fisher House and on all it has to offer.
Edward Barge, USAMITC CFC Project Officer, introduced Fisher House Manager Inge Godfrey, who spoke about the Fisher House, its history and the magnitude of support rendered to thousands of Military and their families. Inge Godfrey introduced the Dunns as current residents of the BAMC Fisher House.
Staff Sgt. Dunn and his wife spoke to USAMITC next. Staff Sgt. Dunn began, with his hand over his heart, by welcoming home Vietnam Veterans. "You paved the way for us," Dunn said. "And I give you a warm welcome back because you didn't receive one after Vietnam." Dunn, with his hand still over his heart, also thanked everyone for being there that day to listen to what he and his wife had to say.
Recovering from an infection from a gunshot wound and also being treated for cancer, Dunn credited going to Iraq for saving his life. "Had I not been treated for the infection in Iraq, I never would have been diagnosed with cancer," he said.
Dunn doesn't normally speak at events like this, even though he and his wife are invited to attend CFC functions on behalf of the Fisher House on a regular basis. Normally, she is the only one to speak. This time, however, he asked specifically to speak at this one. He also went into some detail about how grateful he was to the Fisher House staff for everything they've done for him and his wife. "The Fisher House Foundation gave us a place to live so my wife can be here with me while I recover," he added.
After, again, thanking the Fisher House and everybody in attendance for being there, the USAMITC crowd gave Staff Sgt. Dunn a rousing standing ovation.
His wife, Kandi Dunn, spoke next. She spoke first about how proud she was of her husband. "He joined the Army in 1973 trying to go to Vietnam, and ended up going to Korea instead," she said. "Since then, he volunteered for every war we've had."
Then she spoke about the Fisher House. "I had never heard of the Fisher House before, and walked into it for the first time on January 18th of this year ," she began. "I was so grateful to have a place to lay my head down and not worry while I was helping him to recover," she added, referring to her husband. "The Fisher House saved us over $18,000 this year, so far, if we had to live in hotels; and we would've lost our house." She spoke about how they expected to be in the Fisher House for only or only two or three weeks, but have had a very pleasant stay regardless. "Volunteers come to prepare meals for us nearly every day," she said. "The Fisher House is like a bread and breakfast for the Military; a place to sleep, relax, eat, socialize and become a family." She also spoke about the support available at the Fisher House. "One of the biggest things I see is how Wounded Warriors help other Wounded Warriors through the healing process," she said. "The Fisher House is definitely a healing place; a place to heal and recover with support," she added. "It's families helping families," she concluded.
At the end of their presentation, Lt. Col. Beverly Beavers, USAMITC Commander, handed Godfrey, Staff Sgt. Dunn and Kandi Dunn command coins, the first one that Kandi Dunn had ever received. Beavers also gave Godfrey and Kandi Dunn command certificates of appreciation.
The USAMITC Commander's Call started with a welcome and a video presentation, and then Mr. Herbert Coley, U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) Chief of Staff, followed with a presentation as the guest speaker. Beavers then followed by presenting her command update. Two training segments came after this, followed by the CFC and Fisher House presentations.
The Fisher House Foundation donates "comfort homes" that are built on the grounds of major Military installations and VA Medical Centers. These homes allow family members to be close to and/or stay with loved ones who are Wounded Warriors during their hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease or injury. There is no charge for families to stay at Fisher Houses, and the Fisher House Foundation is funded solely from private donations.