breaking news

Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman to retire after 2019 season

New home on VA campus will allow families to stay for free


Families of the more than 40,000 area veterans that receive medical care annually at the Dayton VA will now have a place to stay for free when their loved ones get treatment.

The $6.5 million Fisher House, a private/public partnership that received enormous support from the Dayton community, opened Wednesday on the Dayton VA campus on West Third Street.

When a family member finds out that a loved one in the military has been injured, there are two immediate thoughts, said David Coker, president of Fisher House Foundation.

MORE: Dayton hospital buys several neighboring properties

“You want the best medical care possible and you want to be there,” Coker said.

Dayton’s VA campus is important to the region as it serves veterans from Wright-Patterson Air Force and beyond. The base is the largest single-site employer in Ohio with more than 27,000 civilian employees and military personnel. The base has an estimated economic impact of more $4 billion a year.

An estimated 500 families a year will stay at the new Fisher House while their family members are treated for combat injuries and illnesses

The busy Dayton VA treats about 40,000 veterans a year at its a main campus and four clinics in Richmond, Ind., Springfield, Middletown and Lima.

“We have a heritage of healing on this campus going back over 150 years. This home continues that dedication to our local veterans and takes the strain off them and their families as they undergo a trying time in their lives allowing them to focus on the healing process,” said Jill Dietrich, Dayton VA Medical Center director.

The average length of stay at a Fisher House is nine days but there has been a family member who stayed for four years, Coker said.

RELATED: Health systems at odds over new hospitals proposed in Troy, Middletown

The project — funded by the Fisher House Foundation and local donors — broke ground October 2017 at the Datyon VA campus.

The 14,000-square-foot building has 16 suites, and communal space with a kitchen, dining room, living and family areas, laundry room and patio. The building has an elevator and each suite has a handicapped-accessible bathroom.

Local real estate developer Randy Gunlock and his wife, Vicki, made a $1.075 million donation and a community fundraising effort pulled together more than $650,000 toward the house.

Vicki Gunlock said at the grand opening that the fundraising effort shows the commitment Dayton has to supporting its veterans.

The Fisher House will fill a gap left after a hospitality house run on campus by the VFW closed three years ago. The hospitality house lodged visiting families of veterans for decades but didn’t have the money to keep the house running.

The Dayton location is part of national network of Fisher hospitality houses, with 36 in the VA and 78 in the world.

The new Fisher House is the third in the Dayton region, joining two others at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The program has saved military and veterans’ families more than $400 million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation since it was started.

Steve Young, VA deputy under secretary for operations and management, said the VA is grateful for the latest addition to the Fisher House program.

“We value the Department’s long-standing partnership with the Fisher House Foundation. We appreciate their commitment to our veterans, active duty military and their families.”



Reader Comments


Next Up in Local

Franklin firefighters rescue puppy from icy pond
Franklin firefighters rescue puppy from icy pond

Franklin firefighters rescued a puppy from an icy pond in Franklin Twp. this morning. Fire Chief Jonathan Westendorf said firefighters were dispatched after 10 a.m. to rescue a puppy, named Maggie, which had wandered onto a frozen pond in the 3200 block of Beal Road attempting to retrieve a duck decoy and fell through the ice. Westendorf said the puppy...
Lampert wins bid for Sears, but won’t save area stores
Lampert wins bid for Sears, but won’t save area stores

Steve Lampert won the bid for Sears in an hours-long bankruptcy auction Monday, but it won’t save any local stores. The chairman and former CEO’s $5.2 million bid went through Monday, people close to the matter told Reuters. It could save 425 stores and 45,000 jobs. »PHOTOS: Downtown condo with open floor plan hits market But no local...
Air freshener leads police to 160 pounds of marijuana at Nashville airport
Air freshener leads police to 160 pounds of marijuana at Nashville airport

Two men were arrested Wednesday at Nashville International Airport after police found nearly 160 pounds of marijuana in four checked bags with “a strong odor of air freshener,” WKRN reported. >> Read more trending news  Trung Tieu, 40, and Tihn Van Tran, 56, were detained by police Tuesday night, then charged Wednesday morning...
West Chester woman admits to sex charge involving a minor
West Chester woman admits to sex charge involving a minor

A West Chester Twp. woman has pleaded guilty to having sexual conduct with a juvenile. Beth Ann Manning, 39, of the 7900 block of Victory Court, was indicted in July on five counts of sexual battery, a third-degree felony. Last week, Manning, who has been free on her own recognizance, entered the guilty plea in Butler County Common Pleas Court to one...
Clark County Municipal Court cases
Clark County Municipal Court cases

CASES CALLED MONDAY INCLUDED: Deandre L. Cavin, 31, of 5363 Hearthstone Dr., OVI, guilty, 60 days jail with 50 days suspended, 12 months probation, 18 months driver’s license suspension, fined $525; OVI, failure to drive on right, dismissed. Kevin D. Crowley, 35, of 421 W. Liberty, domestic violence, dismissed - prosecutor request. Christina...
More Stories