Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Denzel Washington and the Brook Army Medical Center

Our recent celebrations of the 4th of July have caused me to think a great deal about our nation - our indendence, our liberty and the steep price that many of our fellow citizens pay to ensure that we preserve these freedoms. A friend of mine, who lives in Texas, passed along this story that I thought worthy of sharing with you.

Hollywood is full of stars who feel free to speak out against the war in Iraq. Precious few of them do much to demonstrate support for those who have sacrificed to serve the cause of freedom. Apparently, Denzel Washington is a refeshing exception to the stereotype. I was encouraged to learn of his support of Fisher house, a veteran's equivalent of the Ronald McDonald Houses that have been build near major medical centers across the U.S.

Here is an excerpt from Joen Elliott's e-mail:

Don't know whether you heard about this but Denzel Washington and his family visited the troops at Brook Army Medical Center, in San Antonio, Texas (BAMC) the other day. This is where soldiers that have been evacuated from Germany come to be hospitalized in the States, especially burn victims. They have buildings there called Fisher Houses. The Fisher House is a hotel where soldiers' families can stay, for little or no charge, while their soldier is staying in the hospital. BAMC has quite a few of these houses on base but as you can imagine, they are almost completely filled most of the time.Denzel toured the Fisher House facilities there, was impressed with what they were doing, and indicated a desire to support it.
(An eRumor got started that he dramatically pulled out his checkbook on the spot and wrote a check for the cost of building an entire house, which was not true.)

Fisher House says the confusion may have come when an announcement was made later in that a new $1-million facility was going to be built. It was at the same time as a mention that Denzel Washington had pledged a donation to Fisher House. Four months later, however, he came through "in a big way", according to the folks at Fisher House. They won't disclose the amount of his gift, but Fisher House spokesman, James Weiskopf, says it's one of the largest in the organization's history and that Denzel Washington has agreed to serve on the Fisher House board of trustees.

Fisher House is a program that provides special housing at each of the Army's major medical centers for the families of soldiers who are receiving medical treatment, often from being wounded on duty. Fisher house is either a facility or a group of facilities where family members can stay for no cost or reduced cost, which helps ease the burden of possibly having made a long and expensive trip to be by the beside of a family member and to make it possible for even low income families to be able to stay close by.

The question I have is why does Alec Baldwin, Madonna, Sean Penn and other Hollywood types make front-page news with their anti-everything America crap and this doesn't even make page 3 in the Metro section of any newspaper except the base newspaper in San Antonio.

Why, indeed!


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