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Author: Josh DeMeester

Operation Hero Miles

Operation Hero Miles

The original concept of Operation Hero Mileswas created by Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersbeger in cooperation with close to a dozen United States Airlines in October, 2003.  Since then, the program has provided over 13,000 airline tickets from over 380 million donated frequent flyer miles, allowing wounded service men and women to visit their families between treatments and transporting loved ones to military medical centers, while their wounded family member receives urgent care.

The program, brilliant in its simplicity, is not just aimed at corporate America.  The most typical donors are retired couples who give a few thousand miles at a time. James Weiskopf the Fisher House Foundation’s vice president for communications comments, “When enough people donate small amounts, it becomes a large amount”.

Operation Hero Miles gives ordinary citizens an opportunity to help our troops in a very direct way that makes a real difference in their lives.  For more information on how to donate frequent flyer miles or credit card frequent flyer points, visit:

Navarre Lions Club Supports Fisher House Again!

Navarre Lions Club Supports Fisher House Again!
December 2008

Fisher House of the Emerald Coast were the beneficiaries for the second successive year of the Navarre Lions Club Golf Tournament, held recently at the Hidden Creek Golf Club in Navarre.

Fisher House board member Angela Campbell is pictured receiving a check for $750 from Lions Club president Denny Hufstader and treasurer Shari Bauer.

Fisher House of the Emerald Coast Golf Tournament

Fisher House of the Emerald Coast Golf Tournament
December 2008

At the recent Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting, members of the Chamber Young Professionals who helped  coordinate the First Annual Fisher House Emerald Coast Golf Tournament, presented vice president of the organization, General Joe Oder (Ret’d.), with a check for $20,450 from the event.  Teams participating in the shot gun tournament held in September of this year at Kelly Plantation in Destin, enjoyed a gala dinner the night before.
The event was sponsored by Coastal Business Products, Indyne, Inc. & J.E.® Jacobs.

Pictured with General Oder are Paul Brannon and Chad Hamilton of the Fort Walton Beach Chamber Young Professionals.

Army mom raises $5,000 for Fisher House

Army mom raises $5,000 for Fisher House

Daily News

EGLIN AFB – When Mary Taylor set up outside the base commissary selling raffle tickets to win a patriotic blanket, she had no idea pocket change would add up to $5,000.
“I was just asking for donations,” Taylor explained, adding she thought high gas prices and the economy would keep people from purchasing the chances to benefit Fisher House of the Emerald Coast.

The Fisher House Program is designed to allow families to stay close to the military hospitals for free.

Taylor said she had been lucky as a Navy wife and Army mother that she never had to stay at a Fisher House, but she wanted to help those families who weren’t as fortunate.

Taylor’s husband, Lt. Commander Lloyd “Jose” Taylor, was a veteran of WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam Conflict. He passed away in 2005. Mary Taylor’s two brothers-in-law, also veterans, died in 2006.

“I just wanted to do something in their memory,” Taylor said.

Taylor came across a patriotic-themed blanket called “Grateful Nation” in a catalogue she had.

“I kind of wanted to cry because it was too late for me to get it for my husband,” Taylor said. “Then it was kind of like he was whispering in the back of my ear.”

Taylor purchased the “Grateful Nation” blanket and one called “Land of the Free.”

For 10 days, she stood outside the commissary and in front of local Walmarts. The Army Rangers even shared their space at the Mullet Festival so she could spread the word about the blankets and Fisher House.

“I made $845 the first day,” Taylor recalled. “I just squealed.”

She remembers collecting money one day and meeting a young man who said he wanted to donate because his brother was just home from Iraq and in the hospital. Their mother was staying in a Fisher House to be near to him.

“It makes a difference to people,” Taylor said. “It means a lot. We’re a tourist community and the condo and motel prices are so high. We need this program here.”

Fisher House of the Emerald Coast Volunteer Coordinator Stephanie Trigg said that Taylor’s grass roots effort shows how much one person can do.

“You can tell she’s a lady with a lot of passion and a real can do attitude,” Trigg said. “Our Fisher House is being built on the hard work and dedication of community members.”

Taylor presented a check for $5,076.53 to Fisher House of the Emerald Coast. For more information, or to donate, visit