Camp Pendleton officials broke ground Tuesday on the 65th Fisher House, an important facet for those visiting the base due to an emergency.
The new Fisher House will be 8,000 square feet with have eight suites, offering a place where the families of injured or ill service members can stay for free while their loved one is being cared for at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton.
“This hospital provides world class health care, but sometimes doctors, nurses and medicine isn't enough. You need you family with you in order to heal. That is what Fisher House does,” said Marine veteran Derek Donovan, the vice president of programs and community affairs for the Fisher House.
The facility will provide some 3,000 nights of lodging for about 280 families a year, saving them an estimated $250,000, base officials say.
The project cost of $2.65 million was donated by United Health Foundation.
The Fisher House Foundation and the military have a unique partnership. The foundation takes care of building the home and lodging fees, along with other items inside the home.
The military takes care of the management and operation of the facility once it is complete.
Both agree the lodging plays an essential part in healing for wounded members of the military and their families.
“When we see our Marines wounded or injured, we recognize that the absolute essential ingredient to making sure that they are healthful again is the support -- the role of the families,” said Brig. Gen. Joaquin Malavet, deputy commanding general of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
The Fisher House Camp Pendleton should be ready to host its first family in May of 2015.
Nearly 250,000 military families have been served by the Fisher House Foundation since the organization began back in 1990.