In August 2011, the Red Sox Foundation hosted Home Base veterans and family members for an opportunity of a lifetime—to step up to the plate at Fenway Park, swing for the Green Monster, and run the bases. Children and adults, even grandparents, enjoyed the thrill. Carnival games, photos with the 2004 and 2007 World Series Trophies, tours of the Park, and a picnic of hot dogs and pizza were all part of the afternoon.
One participant said, “We will be talking about [the event] for a long, long time. And now, when I am old and grey, I can tell my grandkids about the time I hit a ball and ran the bases at Fenway Park, just like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Yaz and Big Papi. Wowo!”
One guest wrote, “As the mother of a veteran who is benefiting from the Home Base Program, thank you for the assistance you are providing him and for including the families in special events like these. It is all very much appreciated.”
In July 2011, more than 100 Rhode Island and Massachusetts military service members, veterans and their families attended a special “Home Base Night” hosted by the Pawtucket Red Sox. The evening, which included a barbeque and ball game, was part of the Home Base Adventure Series and helped to raise awareness of Home Base clinical services for veterans and families affected by deployment– and combat–related stress or traumatic brain injury (TBI).
During the pre–game, special guest and Home Base advisory board member Major General (ret.) Elder Granger and his wife Brenda presented a special commemorative Home Base Program coin to Mike Tamburro, President of the PawSox Baseball Club; Lou Schwechheimer, Vice President and General Manager of the PawSox Baseball Club; and Mike Roose, Strength and Conditioning Coach for the PawSox Baseball Club. Scott Ewert, a retired US Army Intelligence Sergeant from Warwick Rhode Island who suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving in Afghanistan, threw out the first pitch. The Maloney family of Norton, Massachusetts, opened the game with the traditional declaration of the words, “Play Ball!” Sergeant Kevin Maloney was deployed in Afghanistan with Dog Company 1-182nd Infantry.
Throughout the year, the Home Base Adventure Series offers military families an opportunity to come together for free activities including skiing, skating, sailing and admission to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Military families throughout New England may participate in the Adventure Series. Veterans and families do not need to be receiving care at Home Base to join in Adventure Series activities. To register for and receive Adventure Series information, email Catherine Moore. To see pictures from Home Base Adventure Series activities, visit our photo gallery.