Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Run or Walk Across Fenway’s Home Plate and Support Our Veterans and Families

Family Ties and Personal Experience Inspire Foxboro Man to Run on Behalf of Other Veterans in 2012 Run-Walk to Home Base

Fred Green Run to Home Base

Fred Green crosses home plate in Run to Home Base
Learn more about the Run to Home Base

On Sunday, May 20, runners and walkers have the opportunity to cross home plate in Fenway Park while supporting the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program. The 2012 Run-Walk to Home Base presented by New Balance is a 9K (5.6 mile) run or a 3-mile walk.

Funds raised help the Home Base Program provide clinical care for veterans who are living with combat stress or traumatic brain injury related to deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan. The funds also support services and counseling for veterans’ families, research to improve diagnosis and treatment and community education. Event participants begin at historic Fenway Park and wind their way through scenic Boston and back to the Green Monster, with a photo finish at home plate. The Run-Walk is a wonderful opportunity to show your support of our deserving veterans and families and enjoy the unforgettable experience of crossing “home base” (plate) at “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.”

Fred Green, chairman of the CEO Club of Boston, will be among the participants in the 2012 Run-Walk. One of the top fundraisers last year, the longtime Foxboro resident’s dedication is rooted in personal experience, including his service with the U.S. Navy and Merchant Marine in Vietnam. He plans his training runs so that they regularly take him through his hometown’s Terry Baldwin Square, named for a Foxboro High School classmate who was killed in Vietnam while serving with the U.S. Army.

Why Do You Run in this Event?

My son-in-law, U. S. Army Maj. Peter Charbonneau, an Iraqi Freedom veteran, participated in the event two years ago year in memory of a number of his troops who have returned safely from their service to their country but later experienced post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. One of his troops succumbed to suicide.

Last year, Maj. Charbonneau returned to Iraq for his second tour of duty and was not able to “Run to Home Base” in 2011. I took his place at the starting line and dedicated my run to Pete. My goal was to raise $9,000. I raised $9,500 to become the top veteran fundraiser for 2011.

Do you have any other connection to the military?

I was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy in 1966 after graduating from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. My commitment to the Navy was to serve as a Merchant Marine Officer where I made two trips to Vietnam.

My son, Joshua, is a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force. He has had 12 foreign assignments in his 17 years of service including assignments in Iraq, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Korea and Africa. He is presently teaching at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California.

Run to Home Base
Run to Home Base

What did it feel like crossing home plate in Fenway last year?

It was great! It made all the work it took to prepare for the race worthwhile.

What is your favorite part of this event?

Running through that door into center field of Fenway Park after completing the race.

Tell us about your success fundraising?

I did the majority of my fundraising through the Internet with my list of contacts. It was much easier to raise the money than I anticipated. People really want to show their support for our troops, especially the ones returning with these invisible wounds.

Why would you recommend others get involved by either running or walking in the event?

I lived through a time in our country when a majority of its citizens turned against our military. No one came to our defense when we were willing to sacrifice our lives for those same citizens. They couldn’t distinguish between the warrior and the war. We can never let that happen again! Anything we can do to show our respect for our warriors is a cause worth supporting.

Pre-registration and minimum fundraising are required to take part. Participants age 16 and over are invited to register for either the walk or run portion of the event with the $1,000 fundraising commitment. This year, for the first time, the event is open to children age 6 to 15 to enter the walk portion of the event for only $125 when accompanied by a registered adult fundraising walker who has committed to the $1,000 fundraising fee.

To register to run or walk in the event or to support any existing participant, including Fred Green, please visit www.runtohomebase.org.

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