Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking with Tracy West of the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base program, concerning their veteran support efforts with the “Ride for Our Heroes” in New England on September 24th. If you missed it, please take the time to read about this wonderful opportunity to help with public awareness of veteran issues and their families as well!
I promised to continue with an article on the Red Sox and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base program today. For a good reason, the program is a completely free assistance effort according to Tracy. It is open to all veterans in the New England area with needs for traumatic brain injury treatment or combat related stress. Home Base kicked off in September 2009 and has treated 500 veterans and family members and is collaborative with many federal (including VA), state and local programs. The program has employed four veterans as “outreach coordinators” to make the New England military community, civic leaders, medical community, clergy, teachers, plus… more aware of the program.
With a largely Guard and Reserve population of veterans, New England has unique needs according to Tracy. With a Warrior Ethos of “I am fine” and limited contact with units after their return from Iraq and Afghanistan it is critical for the community to recognize the veterans’ needs for care. The Home Base effort also provides training for medical providers, clergy, educators and others in contact with the veterans and their families. I asked Tracy about the “A Toolkit For The Well Child Screening of Military Children” I found on their website. She said the kit had been on the site for just three weeks but was “getting legs”. She said that in Massachusetts a large grant had been provided for teacher training. That really hit home after listening to my daughter’s stories of educating teachers in her community during her husband’s deployment with his Guard unit. Steven Tyler, Aerosmith and
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox on Dirico Bike
I was impressed with the Home Base website, Tracy’s description of the program and of course the public awareness and fund raising efforts by the Red Sox and Massachusetts General Hospital Foundations. A big thank you from this veteran for caring about our community! And … if you want to participate in the Ride for Our Heroes on September 24th please find registration information by clicking on the picture!