Ep. 18 Fisher House with Vat Garcia
Welcome to the "Militarily Speaking" podcast with Tom McLean and Jodi Vickery.
In this episode of “Militarily Speaking,” Tom, Jodi, and guest Vat Garcia discuss Fisher House. Together they learn about how Fisher House helps active duty military members, veterans, as well as military spouses and military children. They also share ways that people can help support their cause.
“Militarily Speaking” is a podcast produced by Armed Forces Bank that is dedicated to the military lifestyle and all the things that makes military community who they are.
Ep. 18 — Fisher House with Vat Garcia
Introducing Vat Garcia and Fisher House
Jodi introduces Vat and her history with Fisher House, and then asks her to tell the listeners about the mission of Fisher House.
- Vat discusses how the Fisher House Foundation got started, noting that it helps house family members of active duty military and veterans near the hospital where their loved one is undergoing care, at no cost to the family.
- After prompting from Tom, Vat discusses the requirements and eligibility for people to be able to take advantage of the program.
- She continues by mentioning what they provide and amenities that are provided, and what safety precautions they take.
- She does note that eligibility differs between the VA and Army.
Tom asks for her to share some stats around how many service members the Fisher House has helped.
- Vat goes through the fiscal year 2022, mentioning how many service members they have helped, the average length of stays, how many houses they have running around the country, etc.
- She continues describing what their ‘Angel Volunteers’ do for the Fisher House, and what other organizations help them with as well.
Scholarships for Military Spouses and Military Children
Jodi asks about the programs they run to assist military spouses or children of service members.
- She begins by mentioning their Heroes Legacy Scholarship, and other scholarships for military spouses.
- She also notes that there are more scholarships for military children.
- Vat says they have awarded over $35 Million in scholarships, and helped over 14,000 military children.
Hero Miles and Hotels for Heroes Programs
Tom asks Vat to speak about their Hero Miles program.
- She gives examples of how they use the miles that are donated to the Hero Miles program.
- Vat then notes you can donate miles for Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, or United Airlines on www.FisherHouse.org
Jodi then asks her to speak about the Hotels for Heroes program.
- Vat says that if the Fisher House is full, they will use the donated hotel points to put families up at no cost.
- She notes that this is typically where there is already a Fisher House.
- Continuing, she says people can donate their hotel points at www.FisherHouse.org for Best Western, Choice Hotels, Hilton, Marriott, and Wyndham hotels.
Tom notes the ways Armed Forces Bank supports Fisher House and their ongoing efforts, and asks how other companies or individuals can help support their causes as well.
- Vat takes the opportunity to give a shoutout to a local Armed Forces Bank employee who helps out at the Fisher House that Vat runs.
- She says that people can donate their airline miles or hotel points, or become a recurring monthly donor, or corporate sponsor.
Tom, Jodi, and Vat thank everyone that assists Fisher House and their efforts, and Tom reads off a couple of glowing reviews of their organization.
Jodi introduces the Military Minute segment of the show, beginning by closing out last episode’s Military Minute.
- Last episode’s Military Minute: What year did the U.S. Congress unanimously vote to approve Wreaths Across America Day?
- Answer: 2008
- This week’s Military Minute question: How many Fisher House locations are currently in operation?
- Watch for Facebook and Instagram posts about this episode.
- Answer with the correct answer and you plus a charity of your choice can each win $50.
Tom closes the episode by asking listeners to go to www.afbank.com and subscribe to the show, as well as leave a rating and comment on your favorite podcast platform such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
Join us to hear how to better navigate your finances, military life, and the crossroads of the two.