Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher

Mr. Zachary Fisher

At age 16, Zachary Fisher left high school to help his father and older brothers in the family construction business. He laid bricks, earned his union card and by age 19 was supervising brick layers.

Mr. Fisher's knee was severely injured in a construction accident. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, he was rejected by the military due to his injury, dashing forever his hopes of serving his country in the war. Searching for other ways to be of use, he helped the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers build coastal fortifications.

Since that time, Mr. Fisher, along with his lovely wife Elizabeth, have continued to dedicate themselves to the Armed Forces and to those who serve in them. They are true patriots who ardently support a number of philanthropic activities. Mr. Fisher and his wife, Elizabeth, are dedicated to enhancing the public perception of the U.S. Military, and to helping needy members of the Armed Forces. In 1988, in response to the USS STARK tragedy, they established the "Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Armed Services Foundation," to provide financial assistance to members of the Armed Forces and their dependents. The Foundation has provided substantial direct payments to the surviving families of service people, including the forty-seven members of the IOWA. The Foundation also provides college scholarships for dependents of military personnel. In addition, the Fisher Armed Services Foundation, inspired by the wife of the former Chief of Naval operations, Pauline Trost, decided to build a home designed to house families of patients undergoing treatment at a U.S. Military hospital installation. The home was to be called the Zachary & Elizabeth Fisher House. A home away from home, the Zachary & Elizabeth Fisher house is fully furnished to accommodate eight families at a minimal charge. This is a home where residents all share a common concern – the health and well being of their loved ones.

Mr. and Mrs. Fisher

Mr. Fisher has received the Department of Transportation's Meritorious Public Service Award, in recognition of his efforts to preserve and promote the history of the Coast Guard. In 1988, President Reagan awarded Mr. Fisher the prestigious Volunteer Action Award for his work with the INTREPID Sea-Air-Space Museum, the Veterans Bedside Network, the Marine Scholarship Foundation, and Honor America.

President George H. W. Bush, who dedicated the first Fisher Comfort House in Bethesda, Maryland, on June 24, 1991, said "Elizabeth and Zachary Fisher are Brilliant Points of Light. This kind of dedication and ingenuity has made ours the strongest, and the most caring nation in the world."

Zachary passed away in June 1999, but his nephews, Arnold and Tony Fisher, and his great-nephew, Ken Fisher, continue to build Fisher Houses and carry on Zachary's legacy of helping military men and women and their families.

Fisher House Foundation

Fisher House Foundation, Inc. is the national not-for-profit organization established to assist with the coordination of private support and to encourage public support for the network of homes known as "Zachary and Elizabeth M. Fisher Houses". The Foundation works to educate and inform the public about Fisher Houses and provides support to individual houses when necessary as well as support to the entire Fisher House program.

Fisher Houses are uniquely designed to provide temporary lodging in a "home away from home" atmosphere for members of our Armed Services, veterans, and their families during a medical crisis. Providing a warm, compassionate environment where families and caring friends can nurture one another in time of need, these houses are given as a gift to the respective Armed Service or Department of Veterans Affairs. Built on government land, they are operated and maintained by the respective service.

The Fisher House program was established June 15, 1990 with the opening of the first Zachary and Elizabeth M. Fisher House in Portsmouth, Virginia. President and Mrs. Bush opened the second Fisher House at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland on June 24, 1991. Today, the program has more than 28 houses located at military and Veterans Affairs medical centers across the nation and in Europe.

There is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center to assist families in need and to ensure they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment. These sites were selected by the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, Air Force, respective Surgeons General and Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Annually the Fisher Houses serve more than 5,000 thousand families, and have made available nearly 500,000 days of lodging to family members since the program originated.

Fisher House Foundation, Inc. was formed to coordinate the tremendous response from the public wanting to contribute and participate in the program. It has been recognized with acclamation by the Secretary of Defense, each of the service secretaries and Surgeons General, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and at the highest levels of local, state, and federal government.

The work and gifts from this not-for-profit foundation are:
"Dedicated to our greatest national treasure - our military service men and women, and their loved ones."

Operations Office: 1401 Rockville Pike, Maryland 20852 - (301) 294-8560 or toll-free (888) 294-8560
Corporate Office: 333 Jericho Turnpike, Jericho, New York 11753 - (516) 822-5350

page last modified on: 3/27/2017

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