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Our Fisher House at Eglin has an amazing body of supporters and includes some very engaged community leaders. One of those is Jerry Williams, President/CEO of Eglin Federal Credit Union, our volunteer treasurer.and today is his birthday, He and his lovely wife Jean both bless our military families and the community in big ways.
For nearly a decade, EXOS has supported U.S. special operations forces with tactical training programs. Working with special operations personnel, EXOS has helped hundreds of service members return from devastating injuries through the Accelerated Return to Duty program. More about EXOS here.
Our Fisher House on Eglin supports these warriors and this program in partnership with SOF Missions and Portofino Island Resort for their temporary lodging during this treatment.
In February, Fisher House of the Emerald Coast Inc hosted a caregiver spotlight event at the Air Force Armament Museum featuring Jennifer Nelson, military spouse of wounded warrior Capt. Nate Nelson, USAF, Ret. Family members and professional caregivers were invited and honored for their role in offering hope and healing, courtesy of the White-Wilson Community Foundation Inc. As event plans were finalized, an unrelated inquiry from the Villagomez family was received regarding volunteer opportunities for a teenage military dependent stationed with her family at Eglin AFB. After a little conversation about ways to help, it was discovered that Floralyn, the daughter, was a gifted artist and the idea for her to create a token of appreciation for Jennifer speaking about her experience was born. Jennifer’s husband Nate, who suffered a spinal cord injury from a rocket blast in Afghanistan when Jennifer was 6 months pregnant, has no movement below his chest and limited use of his hands. Jennifer stayed at two Fisher Houses during Nate’s recovery and their daughter, Eva was born while in the comfort of one of those Fisher Houses.
A few inspirational photos were shared and the final result was this family portrait, unveiled to the Nelson family. Engaging volunteers in meaningful ways is important and connecting these two military families contributes to the ripple effect, talking points emphasized during the evening regarding the ripple of Nate’s injury forward to the artful blessing by Floralyn. See all photos here.
Photos courtesy of Carolina Miah Photograhy, isn’t she awesome? @carolinaQphotography