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Hall of Fame Announcement – Teresa Halverson

Hall of Fame Announcement! At Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, ALL our board members are Super Stars and do amazing work with us and others in the community. Help us Celebrate our recent Hall of Fame awardee, Teresa Halverson. Past Chair of our board.  Teresa served an unprecedented four year term, leading our organization through a rebuild that continues to care for our military families in a big way and remains actively engaged with our mission.  Teresa was recognized for her contributions to the military community and joins an elite group of women who have made a significant impact on the residents of Okaloosa County.

Teresa Halverson

She joins Shirley Pigott, another past chair and inductee.

Each year around August 26 which is Women’s Equality Day, the commission hosts a special reception to recognize the new inductees. Photos of the women are in Okaloosa County Women’s Hall of Fame are displayed perpetually at the Okaloosa County Water and Sewer Building, the Niceville City Council Chambers and in the Crestview Courthouse. Inductees come from all walks of life, races, educational levels and contribute to our county from many, many areas.

2020 Field of Valor

2020 Field of Valor New Release

Once again the Niceville Exchange Club will host the Field of Valor (FOV) at the Boggy Bayou Festival field in Niceville. Due to the COVID-19 virus, the FOV will be open for only one day (11 Sept 20). The opening ceremony will be held at 11:00 September 11th and flags will be flown for  those men and women who have lost their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan since 9/11/2001 from Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay Counties and the 7th Special Forces Group(Airborne) members who were killed there since last year’s ceremony.  Sponsored flags will also be flown in recognition of eligible veterans.  The field will remain up until 4 P.M. on the 11th. Colonel Kevin Trajillo, Deputy Commanding Officer 7th Special Forces Group(Airborne) and General Patt Manney will be speakers.

Anyone wishing to attend is strongly encouraged to social distance or wear a mask. For further information or to sponsor a flag, please contact Paul McShane at 850-225-0412.

William Moomaw

President Niceville Exchange Club


Be Like Rick.

It’s Thankful Thursday ya’ll as we near our 10th birthday celebration with #carecontinues. Many times our community comes up with creative ways to do what they love to do professionally and bless our families. Meet Rick Gonzalez, a Realtor who gives back. Be like Rick. He dedicated a percentage of commissions from his Hero Program to our Fisher House. #loveisgoodmedicine Need a good Real Estate Professional who invests in his community? Choose Rick, and be like Rick!

Intrepid Spirit Center opens at Eglin AFB

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) — The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund kicked off its Eglin Heroes Week virtual event to celebrate the official opening of the Intrepid Spirit Center, Aug. 24.

Eglin Air Force Base’s ISC, the first on an Air Force base, is a treatment center dedicated to post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, associated pain conditions and psychological injuries in active-duty service members.

The event began with a ribbon-cutting with Brig. Gen. Scott Cain, 96th Test Wing commander and Eglin AFB leaders cutting a red, white and blue ribbon.

Cain said the ISC effort took years of vision led by patriotic citizens, military leaders and the Air Force’s Invisible Wounds Initiative.

“I want to tell everybody how proud I am for Eglin AFB to host the Air Force’s first ISC. This culmination and capability is what we are celebrating here today and rolling out for our service members,” Cain said.

The EISC represents the blending of the IFHF mission and the Air Force’s Invisible Wounds Initiative, which recognized the need for a medical facility dedicated to invisible wounds.

In 2018, when the Air Force broke ground on the Invisible Wounds Center, Arnold Fisher, honorary chairman of the IFHF, offered to build an Intrepid Spirit Center at Eglin AFB.

“The ISC is our commitment to treating those with wounds from service and our dedication to providing service members the opportunity to continue their service to the nation,” Cain said. Hear from General Cain here.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. provided virtual remarks on the milestone moment and acknowledged that invisible wounds take a toll on our Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Space Professionals and their families.

“When they are injured in the line of duty, we will support their medical needs and we will see them to a better tomorrow,” Brown said. “The ISC building will bring first-class care and is an enduring expression of our gratitude, love and commitment to taking care of our wounded warriors.”

Throughout the week, virtual videos appeared on IFHF social media highlighting the new facility, the therapists, its state-of-art capabilities and Eglin AFB heroes with a connection to the ISC.

Eglin AFB’s ISC is unique from other ISCs in that it’s the only center with an interventional pain suite which contains top-of-the-line x-ray and ultrasound equipment, as well as dedicated interventional pain physician and team. In addition, Eglin AFB is also the first ISC to use a kiln for art therapy and the first to have a dedicated chapel and chaplain to address spiritual healing.

Brown closed his remarks speaking directly to the service members who will use these facilities.

“The permanent nature of this facility represents our unyielding commitment to providing world class medical care to you and that we’re here for you for as long as it takes,” Brown said.

Crane Fund for Widows and Children Bless our families BIG

Our friends at Crane Aerospace and Electronics just partnered to ensure #CareContinues for our military families, donating $7500 as a Back to Better Buddy Sponsorship for 2020.  These kind hearts recognize the impact families make on hope and healing, and were so moved by Bobby Dove’s story at last year’s Helping Heroes Gala, they were committed to this year in a bigger way.

We love when one ripple causes another ripple, and so on.

A Walk Down Memory Lane – Groundbreaking 2008

As we near the 10th anniversary of our Fisher House’s opening in September, a wave of nostalgia swept over me.  With all the many blessings that have been poured into and over our military families, the great honor that we have to care for them overtakes my emotions.  Dave Coker, said it best, we don’t have a goal, we have a duty.  Interesting that in this short clip, featuring all the dignitaries that helped make our house a reality, it’s foretelling that I am in the audience as a witness to the day’s events.  An event that would become so impactful to our military community and to my family personally.  My spouse, Tony Hughes served as the first President, Trec Chedister was on the founding board and remains with us today, Dave Coker still leads the national foundation, Shirley Pigott was with us then, and continues and here we all are together, a part of something way bigger than each of us individually.

Here is the clip….

#Thankful Thursday as #carecontinues – Meet Lois

It’s Thankful Thursday ya’ll as we near our 10th birthday celebration with #carecontinues. Meet Lois, I am thankful for her and the love she stitched into this baby quilt for a Hurlburt family. Lois is a veteran and joins Virginia in our sewing circle. #loveisgoodmedicine

#Thankful Thursday – What is your super power?

On this Thankful Thursday, we are thankful for the many volunteers who show up and sign up, gifting their talents and time to bless military families. Here’s Virginia, a regular volunteer for Fisher House, pictured with Shirley Pigott, our past president and current board member, followed by a photo of the quilt for Baby Atticus…..who came a little early but is now home and doing great. Virginia, a veteran herself is a volunteer on superdrive, donating to a bazillion places, spreading the love. #loveisgoodmedicine

Gulf Power goes GOLD with #CareContinues 2020

Bernard Johnson, Regional Manager with Gulf Power shared the good news on Wednesday, August 12th that Gulf Power Company would be returning as a GOLD sponsor of the #CareContinues2020 campaign.   This 90-day FUNraising non-event, held Anywhere USA, kicks off September 11th, the 10th anniversary of our home’s dedication and runs through December 11.  The birthday celebration takes the place of the 13th annual Helping Heroes Gala, on hiatus for 2020.

#CareContinues reminds the generous community that with the pandemic, the mission has expanded to ensure families remain together outside the Fisher House if necessary, due to limited access to our house as a result of base access directives. Hotel expenses are greater and can never take the place of the comfort inside the home but does lessen the financial impact, and stress associated with military families.  Here is a photo of some of the Gulf Power supporters from the 2019 sold out event at the Henderson. 

Who we serve, as #CareContinues

The motto for our Fisher House at Eglin is “keeping families together” for hope and healing.  In this story, it could be said that we were “keeping families from sleeping in vans” when their babies both came early a few years apart.  Both babies are doing well and Mom and Dad were able to have peace of mind and a place to stay.

Hear in their own words through an email we received today.

(photo is from baby 1, Asher, born 2 1/2 years ago at 26 weeks)

“Hello Mia. I’m not sure you remember me, but about 2 1/2 years ago, my wife and I had a son born at 26 weeks at sacred heart in Pensacola. My wife almost passed away during that time, and you helped us out tremendously during that time.

Just recently, on 18 July, we had another preemie. He was alot further along, and was almost 7 lbs at birth. He only had to spend about 19 days in NICU. You helped us out again this time.

I wanted to reach out and personally thank you. I will be forever indebted to you for everything you’ve done for us. “Baby 2″ was discharged last night, and we checked out at sunup and are now back in Alabama. During his NICU stay, I had to leave and come home to graduate college. Without you, my wife would’ve been sleeping in a van in the hospital, as she was determined not to leave him.

Again, thank you so much for everything you’ve done for us. You truly are a guardian angel!!!!”