Charity Spotlight: Fisher House Foundation
Only 2.5 million Americans, less than a single percent of our population, served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Nine out of 10 Americans do not have a direct connection to more than a decade of war. However, those that have, often through multiple tours of duty and long deployments, carry burdens many of us couldn’t imagine.
One of those people, Army Sergeant Anson Curry, served 15 months in Iraq, and a second combat tour in Afghanistan as an infantry soldier. On August 5, 2011, a grenade exploded in his bunker. The 25-year-old sergeant was severely and permanently brain injured.
But Anson did not have to deal with his injury alone. His wife Minie was by his side throughout the following years of grueling rehabilitation. Anson and Minie were in a new war, fighting one small battle at a time.
"It's for better or for worse and I told him you are not fighting this fight alone. This is our fight," said Minie. “I keep telling him it’s not your battle, it’s our battle.”
The grenade in Afghanistan not only forever changed the course of Anson’s life…but also Minie’s. Our nation’s commitment to Anson also has to extend to Minie, who has and will care for him over the years. The war in Afghanistan won’t end for them as the combat mission comes to an end. The war, for them, has a direct impact for the rest of their lives…and so should our care for them.
That’s where Fisher House comes in. The Fisher House program provides a "home away from home" for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. The homes provide temporary free lodging so families can be close to their loved ones during a medical crisis.
It was a Fisher House where Minie and other members of the Curry family lived for nearly a year while Anson was receiving acute and rehabilitative care for his brain injury.
“I told God that if he let Anson live, that I would be there to take care of him. So I owe God. And I thank God every day,” said Minie. “But as determined as I was to be there for Anson, I just don’t know how I would have done that without the Fisher House. I would have let both Anson and God down. I am so thankful for my beautiful home at Palo Alto. So thankful for Fisher House.”
Minie was not the only family member to stay at Fisher House. To give her brief respite, Fisher House flew family members, through its Hero Miles Program, to be with Anson. One of them was Anson’s brother, Christian Curry.
“Even when Anson was at his very worst, Minie never gave up,” said Christian, who also stayed at Fisher House with his partner. “I believe that every step Anson has taken was because Minie was there to encourage and love him. Without a Fisher House, that never would have happened. I really don’t know where Anson would be today, quite frankly, if Minie had not been staying right across the street.”
To learn more about the Fisher House Foundation, visit fisherhouse.org.