The Nevada Military Support Alliance wants to build a “Fisher House” in Las Vegas and hopes that a fundraising gala next month at Red Rock Resort will raise about 10 percent of the funds for the project. Retired Gen. Bryan “Doug” Brown, former commander of U.S. special forces will be the keynote speaker.
A Fisher house is a residence where the families of wounded veterans can stay while patients receive medical care at nearby VA medical centers.
The Nevada organization has raised about $2 million statewide over the past decade to assist the families of Nevada military personnel who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Joe W. Brown, a Las Vegas attorney and vice chairman of the Military Support Alliance.
In recent years, the alliance has rewritten its charter to allow it to also help wounded veterans and their families, he said.
The organization traces its beginnings in Nevada to 2003, when Brown read a story in the Review-Journal about two Nevada soldiers that had young families and were killed in action in Iraq. “It occurred to me, who’s going to take care of these kids?” said Brown, who, along with a number of other business leaders and then-Gov. Kenny Guinn, created the Nevada Patriot Fund. Since then, 57 Nevada military personnel have been killed in action, and many of their families have received assistance from the support alliance.
Last month, the alliance handed over the keys to a new home in Hawthorne to Army Sgt. Tim Hall, who lost both legs three years ago in a mortar attack in Afghanistan. Hall’s new home was constructed to meet his special needs and was funded in large part by a $250,000 gift from the alliance.
Brown said it will take about $6 million to fund the Fisher House, and the May 11 fundraiser at Red Rock would be an important first step. Most of the funds raised by the alliance in the past 10 years have come from communities in Northern Nevada, and Brown sees next month’s event as an opportunity for those in Southern Nevada to do their part.
“We have not been as visible in Southern Nevada as we have been in Northern Nevada,” said Perry DiLoreto, chairman of the alliance. “But we’re getting a very nice reception for this gala (in Las Vegas).”
There are 60 Fisher Houses in the United States and Germany. The houses range in size from 5,000 to 16,000 square feet. Each is designed to provide eight to 21 suites with common kitchen and laundry facilities for the families of military personnel undergoing treatment. The homes are donated to the government and run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
More information about the event can be found at www.nvmilitarysupport.org or by calling 702-701-4167.