CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) -- Military leaders, community leaders, staff and friends attended the Fisher House dedication at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton May 15.
Guest speakers were Brig. Gen. Edward Banta, commanding general, Marine Corps Installation West Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Capt. Mark Kobelja, commanding officer, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, Retired Navy Vice Admiral John Mateczun, president, UnitedHealthcare Military and Veterans and Kenneth Fisher, chairman, Fisher House Foundation.
Recipients were very grateful for the addition of the Fisher House for the use of families of the wounded.
"On behalf of the U.S. Marine Corps I want to thank the UnitedHealthcare foundation and the Fisher House for their gracious gift of this beautiful facility and, speaking for everybody here at Camp Pendleton, we're proud to be the home of the 65th Fisher House," said Banta.
The house, which is more than 8,000 sq. feet, is equipped with eight suites, each with a private handicap accessible bathroom and common area and is a no-cost comfort home designed for the families of patients receiving long term care at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton.
"Most of our patients have out-of-town families that arrive at their bedside out of love and worry; it is very fitting that the families of our volunteer heroes will have this lodge available to them now," said Kobelja. "This is one less concern as they navigate the confusion of the unexpected surgery, illness or the joy of arrival of the newest family member. Mr. Fisher, Dr. Mateczun please let your donors and staff know that we are profoundly grateful and that our patients are going to forever appreciate this."
This is the 65th Fisher House built for military families by the nonprofit Fisher House Foundation and the only one built with only one donor.
United Healthcare Military and Veterans provided a $2.65 million grant to fully fund the construction of the Fisher House.
Families staying at the house can also receive free childcare through the Fisher Children's Center, which is also located on base.
"We need to remember that behind every service member and veteran is a family that also serves. A family that bears burdens and makes sacrifices the average American has no concept of," said Fisher. "In the end that's why we're all here today, to ensure that our Marine families get the care and support they need while their loved ones heal."
For more information about the Fisher House Foundation, visit www.fisherhouse.org.
For more information about Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, visit www.med.navy.mil/sites/cpen/newsite/Pages/default.aspx and www.navy.mil/local/nhcp/.