Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Our Stay at the Fisher House at WPAFB

My son and I are trying to get over a nasty virus this week, so we've been staying in to avoid giving our germs to anyone else.  But I'm trying to take advantage of the downtime by catching up on the posts about our trip last month.  So today I'm sharing about our stay at the Fisher House, which is similar to a Ronald McDonald house, except it's only for military members!

The Fisher House Foundation builds houses near big military hospitals where military families can live free of charge while receiving medical treatment.  Because of the way our military healthcare works, families often have to travel for medical procedures so having a nice place to stay without worrying about the cost is an amazing blessing!

Read below to learn more about the Fisher House Foundation and see pictures from the WPAFB Fisher House!  (As always, I feel the need to say that I am NOT a photographer, so don't expect perfect pictures:)

We traveled from Offutt AFB (Nebraska) to Wright-Patterson AFB (Ohio) for my husband's corrective eye surgery.  Since it was an elective surgery, we were put on a waiting list at first, but about two weeks ahead of time, we were contacted saying that they had room for us.

When we first arrived, we were greeted by the house managers who gave us a tour of the house and explained the house guidelines.  Guests who are physically able are asked to help with basic things like emptying the trash cans, unloading the dishwashers, and shoveling the walk to keep the house nicer for everyone.  

The house is beautifully decorated and well cared for.  The sitting room (above) contains books, music, games and puzzles for guests to enjoy.  On the right you can also see a sweet doll house - I had to keep Hadden away from that because he probably could have done some damage!

The dining room has a booster seat and a high chair, which was great for us.  A couple times a week, meals would be provided by a community or base group, but usually guests prepare their own meals.  Guests are only permitted to eat in the dining room or the kitchen which makes sense.  But was a tad difficult for us since Hadden is used to snacking throughout the day and not used to sitting in a high chair each time.  

The picture of Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher hangs in the dining room.

The kitchen is gorgeous!  They have everything you need to prepare meals (pots, pans, baking sheets, etc).  Milk and juice is provided for your use and there are a couple cabinets containing staples for everyone to use, like boxed mac and cheese or canned soup.

In the upper right hand corner of the cabinets above, you might notice that each one has a label.  Each room is assigned a cabinet and a shelf in the refrigerator to keep personal food items.  It was so nice to have access to a kitchen while we were there.  To be honest, we ate out a lot, mostly at Chick-Fil-A because Hadden could release energy on the play area.  But we normally ate breakfast and either lunch or dinner at the Fisher House.

Often there was fruit and baked goods sitting on the counter for everyone to enjoy.  It was these small touches that made it feel more welcoming.

Off the kitchen is the laundry room where we could do laundry free of charge.  Again, since we were staying there for 10 days with a toddler, this made things easier for us.

The back of the house had a sitting area (above) and a TV area (below).  There were also toys back here for little ones to play with.  That came in handy because there were quite a few other children there during our stay.  The sitting area had a large assortment of magazines that I enjoyed flipping through.  And the TV area had video games, DVDs and board games.

Since we were there in the winter, we weren't able to enjoy the back porch (out the doors on the right), but it would have been wonderful in warmer weather!

Hallway leading to guest rooms

 Since they knew we were bringing a toddler, the house managers provided a pack n play for Hadden.  

To the left is the mirror and vanity and to the right is a walk in shower.

We came back to our room a couple different days to find a stocking filled with gifts waiting for us - just another little touch they added to make our stay nicer.

Here's a picture of Hadden unpacking our first stocking
(we'd just taken his winter hat off which is why his hair looks so matted)

I always liked the idea behind the Fisher House, but now that I've stayed there and met other families who have benefitted from the foundation, I appreciate it even more.  Our stay and my husband's surgery were relatively easy.  We struggled a bit with keeping Hadden busy since there were many things he could get into.  And we had a really hard time getting him to sleep there, which left us all a bit tired and cranky.  But I have a sense of peace knowing that if we face medical issues in the future and have to travel to a different base for treatment, there will likely be a Fisher House where we can stay.

If you'd like to learn more about the Fisher House Foundation, you can visit their website here.


  1. Fisher House is awesome!! We are an AF family and have been lucky to help the families of our Fisher House at both Landstuhl in Germany and here at Dover AFB, De. It's been an honor to be able to serve families at both.

    1. So cool to hear that you had helped the families at Fisher Houses - I'd love to be stationed at a base with one now that we stayed it one so we could volunteer. Like you said, it's an honor to serve the families there! Thanks for the comment!


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