KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
On the morning of Oct. 11, 2019, a ribbon cutting ceremony took place opening the 85th Fisher House across the street from the Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Members of the community and the Fisher House Foundation spent almost a decade fundraising and gaining support before officially opening the doors of the new ‘home away from home.’
“We have a lot of people here to thank for making this a reality, starting with the staff, community members and Fisher House Foundation staff,” said Andrew Welch, New Mexico VA Health Care System director. “They have worked incredibly hard behind the scenes to make this celebration possible.”
This new home is the only one of its kind in New Mexico, accompanying the only VA hospital in the state as well.
“Our VA is the only VA hospital in the state of New Mexico, serving the needs of over 60,000 veterans throughout the state, to include southern Colorado, Texas and Arizona,” said Welch. “Veterans who are commuting from far away will now have a safe home for their families to stay and be within walking distance from their loved one. Those families will no longer need to stay in a hotel or somewhere else, which is tremendous relief to a hospitalized patient.”
After hearing from those who made the house a possibility and right before the ribbon cutting, a ceremonial passing of the Fisher House key took place.
“It is given to the person who will unlock the comfort this home has to offer to the guests and safe guard its entrances,” said Stephanie Chaves, KRQE Channel 13 News anchor/reporter. “The passing of the key, from the Fisher House Foundation to the house manager symbolizes the passing of the mission to ensure its family in crisis find a home away from home, right here.”
The Fisher House hopes to provide comfort homes for families supporting a hospitalized active duty service member or veteran.
“I look forward to seeing the Albuquerque Fisher House being an important component to providing exceptional care and comfort to our veterans,” said Welch. “The Fisher House will not only help our veterans get the support that they need for medical recovery, it will relieve the financial and emotional strain from being away from home.”