Friday, November 20, 2009

Help from Home Base

Five-kilometer walk honors and supports U.S. veterans

AT EASE: At Fenway Park, Parrish speaks to guests, including servicemen and women from Fort Devens and Hanscom Air Force Base.

On Veterans Day, individuals across the United States paused to honor those brave men and women who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces. In Boston, MGHers, Red Sox staff and U.S. servicemen and women marked the day with a five-kilometer walk from the MGH main campus to historic Fenway Park. The Nov. 11 walk was an opportunity to honor veterans, including those who work at the MGH, and to actively support them by raising funds and awareness for the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program. The event also served as a venue to announce an upcoming fundraiser, "Run to Home Base."

The Home Base Program was launched this past September to provide specialized clinical services for veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars affected by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI). The program, which works in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, offers family counseling services, provides educational resources on PTSD and TBI, and conducts research to improve the care of veterans with these conditions.

During next year's "Run to Home Base" event, organizers plan to have participants cross Fenway Park's home base as the finish line. All proceeds will support the Home Base Program. Official dates and details will be announced in early 2010.

"We were pleased to be able to recognize veterans on this special day for their valued service to our country," says John Parrish, MD, director of the Home Base Program, executive director of CIMIT and a former Marine Corps medical officer who served in the Vietnam War. "At the same time, we were able to spread the word about the new Home Base Program and ways in which folks throughout New England can get involved to support the program's services and mission."

For more information about the Home Base Program, visit

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