By Mr. Dan Lafontaine (RDECOM)December 12, 2011
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The sale of Anna Justice's Pooles Island Lighthouse painting will benefit the families of America's Wounded Warriors.
Anna Justice joined her husband, senior APG commander Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, Fisher House Foundation representatives and APG officials Dec. 9 at Top of the Bay club to unveil her fourth painting to be sold to benefit charity.
The paintings have sold for $10,000 each, with the proceeds going to the Fisher House, a group of 54 residences across the United States and Germany that offer free lodging to families of patients receiving care at military hospitals.
Maj. Gen. Justice discussed a recent visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda for his retirement physical.
"When you walk through those halls, it's filled with kids who are not ambulatory anymore," Justice said. "They were wheeling in a young man who had above-the-knee amputations on both legs. I stopped to ask his family where he was from because he was unconscious. They were from far away.
"I asked, 'Where you are staying?' And they said the Fisher House. That's the value of what this community does for those kids and their families. Much of the healing is not at the hands of the physicians; it's at the hands of the families."
Ed Carnes, chairman of the Fisher House's Support Our Heroes Ball committee, started volunteering for the organization seven years ago. Several Fort Monmouth organizations chose the charity as a way to help Soldiers and their families. The community has since raised $1.2 million.
Carnes, a Vietnam War veteran who served 23 years in the Army, recalled how his first visit to a Fisher House eight years ago prompted him to become involved.
"The first young man I saw lost his arm to the shoulder," Carnes said. "We talked to his mother. She said, 'We're blue-collar folks from Detroit. We could not afford to stay in hotels while our son is recuperating. We live here free. They give us rental cars. They give us frequent-flier miles so my husband and I could switch off.' "
Wendy Roberts, chief executive officer of Future Skies, a defense contractor in Joppa, purchased the lighthouse painting. The original will be displayed at Top of the Bay; prints will be sold to benefit Fisher House.
According to the Fisher House web site, it has served more than 142,000 families since 1990. For more information, go to http://www.fisherhouse.org.