RICHMOND (WRIC)—The Fisher House Foundation is making sure that veterans' families are taken care of, even during the partial government shutdown.
Since the shutdown, 17 soldiers have been killed in action. When word came that their families might not get benefits, the Fisher House Foundation stepped in. For years, the foundation has housed the families of soldiers needing medical treatment, including those at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond.
"It is an incredibly great healing process to have your loved ones sometimes literally across the street," said Darlene Edwards of VA Public Affairs.
The Richmond Fisher House can hold up to 21 families, who share a dining and living area but have separate bedrooms. It has served hundreds in the four years it has been open. Now the foundation has stepped up in another way, to pay the $100,000 families would have received from the government if a soldier is killed.
A statement on the Fisher House website from founder Ken Fisher says that military families shouldn't have to deal with more pain as a result of political squabbling, which is why they moved quickly to get families their proper death benefits.
The foundation is named for Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher, who made helping wounded soldiers their life's work during World War II. Their legacy continues through the Fisher House.
"This is a VA structure now, but certainly the Fisher Foundation still maintains contact and really supports it in many ways," Edwards said. "It is an ongoing project that we work on together."
The VA has not been affected by the government shutdown; benefits are paid for through 2014.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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