Back in January, we took a call from a Major at the Eglin Hospital late on a Saturday evening needing to secure rooms for a family who were with a loved one, waiting for him to pass. This compassionate, tenacious Major said the patient was a retired MSgt and his entire family was at his bedside, including a toddler and he was desperate to get her specifically over to our Fisher House. We are third on the list to be called after hours and this Major said he was prepared to call anyone, even the President of the United States himself to take care of this family. Our house staff promptly returned calls placed to them, prior to the call I received and reservations had already been made. Sadly, the patient did pass and gratefully, his family were cared for at our Fisher House. We sent a note to the hospital Commander, complimenting this Major on such great advocacy on behalf of his family.
Fast forward, two months, we get a call from a family wishing to place a commemorative brick at the Fisher House in honor of their dad who passed away in January. We don’t always know the families as the support group AND due to privacy, but I asked if their dad passed at Eglin Hospital. Yes……on a Saturday evening…….Yes…………did you have a young child with you………………Yes…………………..Oh my. When I shared that I took the call, and relayed the comment from the Major about calling whoever he needed to call……this family stated that this Major also bought them dinner and looked after their needs as much as he did for their dad. WOW. I read the obituary for the MSgt; it was so touching, he was part of SOF, a crew chief on the Pavelow and Hueys and the love his family had for him overflowed from this tribute.
We are so blessed with folks who serve, like this retired MSgt, like this Major who went above and beyond, like the Commander (Colonel Matthew Hanson who leads by example) and our house staff, Manager Marc Ambrose, John Stephens and Don Peckham who field calls at all hours to ensure our families feel loved, have a warm and clean place to rest (thanks Judy!) and something comforting to eat. (We have a great partnership with Walmart, and the Crestview Walmart Packed the Pantry for March through their community grants, thanks Mr. Dickerson and team at #944.) All of this because of our generous community who love our military like we do.
Rest in Peace Retired MSgt, USAF, good and faithful servant. Thank you for your service and for the many lives you touched.