Velogal's Blog

Monday, May 28, 2007

On this Memorial Day, 2007, I want to talk something other than cycling. I want to tell you about a program through the Fisher House Foundation, that helps members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have been injured or wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan. It’s called Hero Miles, and you can help by donating your frequent flyer or award air miles. Today, specifically, several of the major airlines have agreed to match your donated miles. The list of participating airlines is on the Fisher House website. Until 11:59 pm, tonight, these airlines will match your mileage donation. But you can donate your miles anytime and your award miles will go to Hero Miles...

Your donations will assist Operation Hero Miles in providing travel for families of American military men and women who are being treated for injury at military hospitals around the globe. Through its partnership with Fisher House, air travel is provided to family members and close friends visiting U.S. servicemen and women hospitalized due to their service in Iraq or Afghanistan. For more information, visit^.

I have just donated 31,000 American Airlines Award miles, and I hope that you will go to the Fisher House website and donate to Hero Miles. It doesn’t matter what political party you belong to, or whether you support the Iraqi war or not. What matters is that there are badly wounded and maimed fellow Americans, and their families, who cannot afford the flights to receive treatment or to visit injured loved ones. You may think like I did, that the military provides the flights for families to visit an injured loved one who is hospitalized in Germany, or at Walter Reed, etc. Not so, the families have to pay their own costs for transportation, food and lodging. And this is where Fisher House helps, and so can we.

More about Fisher House, from their website:

The Fisher House™ program is a unique private-public partnership that supports America's military in their time of need. The program recognizes the special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Because members of the military and their families are stationed worldwide and must often travel great distances for specialized medical care, Fisher House™ Foundation donates "comfort homes," built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times - during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.

There is at least one Fisher House™ at every major military medical center to assist families in need and to ensure that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment. Annually, the Fisher House™ program serves more than 8,500 families, and have made available more than two million days of lodging to family members since the program originated in 1990. Based on a comparison of fees at a Fisher House™ (the average charge is less than $10 per family per day, with many locations offering rooms at no cost) with commercial lodging facilities in the same area, it is estimated that families have saved more than $60 million by staying at a Fisher House™ since the program began.

In addition to constructing new houses, Fisher House™ Foundation continues to support existing Fisher Houses™ and help individual military families in need. Families and friends of patients at any of the military's hospitals can now receive up-to-the-minute reports on a loved one by going to the patient's own customized web page, thanks to new services provided through CaringBridge. We are also proud to administer and sponsor Scholarships for Military Children, the Hero Miles program, and co-sponsor the Newman's Own Award.

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