HOME BASE AND RED SOX FOUNDATION
TO HONOR VIETNAM VETERANS AT 8th ANNUAL RUN
Associate Director of Veteran Outreach at Home Base Laura Lakin, Red Sox Foundation Treasurer & Financial Advisor to the President/CEO, Accounting Jeff White, former Secretary of State John Kerry, Managing Director of Governmental Affairs and Communications of Mass Housing Thomas J. Lyons, New Balance Global PR Manager Mary Lawton, and Boston Red Sox SVP of Legal & Government Affairs David Friedman
BOSTON, MA – In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, Home Base, a partnership between the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital, will honor the men and women who served in Vietnam during the program’s 8th Annual “Run to Home Base” fundraiser on July 15 at Fenway Park. The annual run is Home Base’s largest benefit event and is presented by New Balance.
The announcement to honor veterans of Vietnam was marked by a gather at Fenway Park between former Secretary of State John Kerry and Marine Corps combat veteran Thomas J. Lyons, who served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969, and is current Managing Director of Governmental Affairs and Communications at Mass Housing. The pair were joined by Red Sox Senior Vice President David Friedman; Red Sox Foundation Treasurer Jeff White; New Balance Global PR Manager Mary Lawton; and Associate Director of Veteran Outreach at Home Base, National Guardsman, and OEF Veteran Laura Lakin.
“One of the lessons learned the hard way after Vietnam is that no matter how divisive the conflict, a grateful nation must always say thank you, separate the warrior from the war, and give every veteran the respect and support they've earned,” said Kerry. “Welcome home for Vietnam vets is long overdue but it is never too late to say thank you, and it is never too late to keep faith with the people who risked it all and lost friends in service to country. We’ve come a long way in treating the wounds of war, those seen and unseen, and an invaluable part of the progress has come from the groups just like those represented right here. I salute the partnership between Home Base, the Red Sox Foundation, and Mass General. This partnership is the definition of a commitment we should all share: to help our returning veterans, and to stand with them as they recover from injuries that are visible and from those that are unseen but just as real and just as deserving of our support."
More than 2.6 million men and women served in Vietnam from 1965 to 1973. The conflict resulted in nearly 60 thousand American casualties. Many of those who did survive returned home with injuries both visible and unseen, and often to an unfriendly welcome, further deepening their wounds.
“We cannot do anything about the shameful treatment our Vietnam veterans received when they returned home, but we sure as heck have an opportunity to get this right now,” said Brigadier General (ret.) Jack Hammond who is the Executive Director for Home Base and a Veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.
On July 15, Home Base and the Red Sox Foundation will provide a richly deserved “welcome home” to hundreds of Vietnam veterans, honoring their service and sacrifice. The 8th Annual Run to Home Base will bring thousands together at Fenway Park for a 9K run and a 5K run/walk to raise funds and awareness for Home Base and their mission to heal invisible wounds such as post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.
“With such a significant milestone anniversary, we thought it was important to recognize the veterans who served during the Vietnam War,” said Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner. “The divisive nature of that conflict, coupled with the psychological issues they grappled with upon their return, made for an unwelcome homecoming for many of these service members. While we cannot erase the past, this is one small way we can pay tribute to their service and recognize the sacrifices they made for their country. We look forward to appropriately honoring them this summer during our annual Run to Home Base event at Fenway Park.”
Over the coming months, individual and corporate partners will be identified to sponsor runners to complete the Run to Home Base in honor of a designated Vietnam veteran.
“Their mission is complete,” said Hammond. “Ours has just begun.”
About Home Base
Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program, is dedicated to healing the invisible wounds for Post-9/11 Veterans, Service Members and their Families through world-class clinical care, wellness, education and research. As a National Center of Excellence, Home Base operates the first and largest private-sector clinic in the nation devoted to healing invisible wounds such as post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression, co-occurring substance use disorder, military sexual trauma, family relationship challenges and other issues associated with military service. Since inception, Home Base has served more than 11,000 Veterans and family members with care and support, trained more than 45,000 clinicians, educators and community members nationally and remains at the forefront of discovering new treatments-- ensuring a brighter future for the 21st century warrior and military family. For more information please visit www.homebase.org.
About the Red Sox Foundation
The official team charity of the Boston Red Sox, the Red Sox Foundation has distributed over $93 million to support programs serving children and families across New England. The Foundation’s efforts are primarily focused on five cornerstone programs: the Red Sox Scholars Program, which provides tutoring, mentoring, enrichment programs and a college scholarship to academically talented but economically disadvantaged Boston public school students; the Red Sox Foundation's RBI and Rookie League youth baseball and softball programs serving more than 2,000 inner city teens each summer; the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with combat stress and traumatic brain injury; The Dimock Center in Roxbury, serving more than 80,000 low-income families in Boston’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods; and The Jimmy Fund, supporting breakthrough cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the Red Sox Foundation raises funds through special events, corporate sponsorships, and grants. Founded and initially funded by Red Sox Principal Owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner, President/CEO Emeritus Larry Lucchino and their partners, the Red Sox Foundation has won numerous awards for the impact of its innovative programs. In 2010, the Foundation’s Red Sox Scholars program was recognized by Major League Baseball with the first-ever “MLB Commissioner’s Award for Philanthropic Excellence.” In 2009, the Red Sox Foundation was honored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Sports Philanthropy Project with the Patterson Award as the nation’s “Best Team Charity in Sports.” For more information about the foundation, visit redsoxfoundation.org.