Kenneth Fisher, whose late uncle Zachary Fisher started the Fisher House Foundation, appeared on Glenn Beck's radio program Monday to share the inspiring story of how the foundation was started.
"In case you don't know, I would describe [the Fisher House Foundation] like the Ronald McDonald House of the military," Beck said. "When a vet needs something in the hospital, the Fisher House provides a place for the family to come and stay so they don't have to worry about it."
Kenneth -- the current chairman and CEO of the charity -- explained how his uncle Zachary was one of the only people to be designated an honorary veteran by Congress. Zachary couldn't serve in World War II due to a knee injury he sustained during a construction accident, but he wanted to do something to honor America's veterans.
"It came to his attention back in the late '70s that the USS Intrepid, the aircraft carrier -- it sustained so much loss of life in the kamikaze attacks of World War II. It was going to be decommissioned and sold as scrap. And Zach led the effort to rescue the Intrepid from the scrap heap," Ken said.
His uncle brought the vessel to New York and converted it into the Sea, Air and Space Museum it is today, Kenneth said.
But Zachary wanted to do more, so he asked Pauline Trost -- the wife of the chief of naval operations -- what more he could do.
"She made him aware of the fact that when families came to visit their loved ones in military and VA hospitals around the country, that they didn't have a place to stay," Ken related. "They would have to check in to hotels, which many if not all of them could not afford, especially if it was a lengthy hotel stay. So Zach mobilized immediately and built the first 10 to 14 [Fisher Houses] with money from his own pocket. And this was about 1990."
Kenneth said there are 64 Fisher Houses in operation today, and they are currently building six more.
"How can anybody get involved?" Beck asked.
Kenneth said anyone can make a donation at FisherHouse.org, where they can help with everything from lodging initiatives to a program called Hero Miles, which allows people to donate unused frequent flyer miles.
"We use those miles to purchase tickets for family members to be able to go back and forth," Ken said. "The government takes care of the first trip. But as we all know, the world doesn't stop when a loved one is in the hospital. Bills keep coming; children need to be raised; mortgages need to be paid. So families, in many cases, need to go back and forth."
Fisher said they have purchased almost 70,000 tickets with people's frequent flyer donations, and President Obama helped them start a scholarship program.
"One of the reasons why we wanted to have you on is, we're looking for things that we can all agree on," Beck said. "And I know this is one of the charities that the president gives to. And it's one of the charities that we believe in strongly. And it's something that we can all agree on and all be thankful for, that you guys are helping and out on the front line -- not just helping our injured veterans, but helping their families. Because when these guys are hurt, the whole family is hurt."
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