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Buckley gives back, one dish at a time

Tech. Sgt. Lee Smith, 460th Space Wing Equal Opportunity NCO in charge, prepares dinner for members of the Fisher House June 17, 2015, in Aurora, Colo. Team Buckley members volunteered at the Fisher House to show support for veterans and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Tech. Sgt. Lee Smith, 460th Space Wing Equal Opportunity NCO in charge, prepares dinner for members of the Fisher House June 17, 2015, in Aurora, Colo. Team Buckley members volunteered at the Fisher House to show support for veterans and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Senior Airman Michael Longdon, 460th Contracting Flight contracting specialist, dishes up a plate for Shane Hadley, a man staying at the Fisher House while his father, a Vietnam Veteran, receives care June 17, 2015, in Aurora, Colo. Team Buckley members volunteered at the Fisher House to show support for veterans and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Senior Airman Michael Longdon, 460th Contracting Flight contracting specialist, dishes up a plate for Shane Hadley, a man staying at the Fisher House while his father, a Vietnam Veteran, receives care June 17, 2015, in Aurora, Colo. Team Buckley members volunteered at the Fisher House to show support for veterans and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Team Buckley members enjoy dinner with those staying at the Fisher House June 17, 2015, in Aurora, Colo. Team Buckley members volunteered at the Fisher House to show support for veterans and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

Team Buckley members enjoy dinner with those staying at the Fisher House June 17, 2015, in Aurora, Colo. Team Buckley members volunteered at the Fisher House to show support for veterans and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski/Released)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Team Buckley members volunteered to prepare dinner for families staying at the Fisher House, an organization that provides free housing to military families during a family member's hospitalization, June 17 in Aurora, Colo.

"It's awesome to have a home-cooked meal and have the ability to meet amazing service members," said Shane Hadley, a man staying at the Fisher House while his father, a Vietnam veteran, recovers from open-heart surgery. "I've met so many amazing people who were servicemen and women and without the Fisher House, I don't know what these veterans would do."

The Fisher House was established by Zachary Fisher, a philanthropic benefactor for the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, according to fisherhouse.org.

Since its establishment, it is estimated that the Fisher House has saved families $282 million in out-of- pocket costs.

"We live in Colorado Springs, (Colorado), and it means a lot that we don't have to drive back and forth during my husband's hospitalization," said Brenda Wilson, a spouse staying at the Fisher House while her husband, a Vietnam veteran, receives care. "I am fortunate to have a place to stay and a place that has people who understand what I am going through."

Having military members there for dinner was special for these families because they had people there that could relate to their experiences.

"Volunteering at the Fisher House is a great way to give back to service members who have medical issues and need assistance," said Staff Sgt. Diaydra Gardner, Air Reserve Personnel Center transition form technician. "I enjoy volunteering at the Fisher House because it is a small way to acknowledge our brothers and sisters in arms and to let them know they are not forgotten."

Team Buckley volunteers said they understood the importance of giving back to those who served before and felt a sense of duty towards volunteering.

"My first time at the Fisher House I had the pleasure to meet a spouse who was there to take care of her husband, who unfortunately had passed away just recently," said Tech. Sgt. Lee Smith, 460th Space Wing Equal Opportunity NCO in charge.

"However, despite her recent loss, she was thankful for the home cooked meal that we provided her and she really enjoyed it, as it was one less thing that she had to worry about. Knowing what kind of an impact I had on this widow brought joy to my heart and knowing that I was able to do something for someone that needed one less burden to worry about is amazing."

Without the Fisher House, many military families wouldn't be able to afford their loved ones' hospitalization or be able to stay close to a family member while in care.

"In a time where loved ones are sick and emotions are high, volunteering to prepare a meal gives the families a sense of care, a sense of hope," said Senior Airman Michael Longdon, 460th Contracting Flight contracting specialist.  

The Team Buckley members that volunteered at the Fisher House are examples of what it means to serve not only their country, but also their local community. 
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