Middleweight Joey Gilbert, who garnered nationwide respect on NBC’s boxing reality show “The Contender,” took three days off from training to make a special appearance at the Fisher Houses at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX. The Fisher Houses are special temporary lodging facilities for soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and their family members. Gilbert and his father, Dr. Warren Gilbert (also seen on the television show), were invited to be the special guests of honor at the fund raiser which benefits the facilities and the wounded soldiers and their families. “This is such an important and noble cause, I don’t care if it interrupted my training schedule,” said Gilbert who may be fighting at Caesar’s Palace on May 24 on NBC, “If I can use my boxing success to support and assist these brave Americans, it is the very least I can do.”
Military families use the Fisher Houses as a "home away from home" while their service members are recovering from wounds sustained in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The hospital takes in a large amount of casualties from the wars on terror because it has the number one burn center in the military and a state-of-the-art amputee center. Many of our service members have said that if it were not for the Fisher Houses they would have been alone in their recovery due to the high lodging costs their families would have incurred.
Following the invitation, Gilbert and his father rearranged their schedules to appear at the fundraising diner and golf tournament at the Fort Sam Houston Golf Course on Thursday, May 12, 2005. “I can't imagine how honored and ecstatic these men and women would be to have an opportunity to meet Joey, and it is an honor for us and our proud men and women of the Armed Forces that Joey is participating in this event,” said Irene Meadows, the BAMC Auxiliary Ways & Means Chair.
Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Willie Nelson, and Denzel Washington have come to BAMC and the Fisher Houses in the past to show their support. Gilbert and his father were invited because of their military service and their proud support of the Armed Forces on NBC’s The Contender. As a Doctor and Lt. Commander in the Navy, and as a former Marine, Dr. Gilbert stated that this is one of the greatest honors he has ever received. “Both Joey and I are very humbled to be asked to participate in this event. This is such a great opportunity to give back what little we can to these men and women who have given so much in the service or our country,” said Dr. Gilbert.