Runners come from all walks of life, so to speak. At first glance, they all look the same—running shoes, shorts, hats, headphones, and sunglasses—but if you pay attention you will notice subtleties that make each runner unique. Roy Gero from Barton, Vermont is 79 years old, a U.S. Army Veteran, an avid speed-walker, a motorcycle enthusiast, he buys and restores old tractors, and has runon behalf charities and fundraisers for the last twenty years. His one subtlety is his red hat he wears at every race. This hat has earned him the distinct nickname as the “Red Hat Walker” in Northern New England.
Gero is now signed up to participate in the 2018 Run to Home Base presented by New Balance on July 28th. He will complete the 5K charity walk in memory of his brother U.S. Air Force Veteran Col. Ken Gero in honor of his two brother in-laws; U.S. Army Veteran Donald Nault, and U.S. Navy Veteran Roy Nault. The race–a 9K run/5K walk that begins and ends inside Boston’s Fenway Park– benefits Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program and its mission to heal the invisible wounds for Veterans, Service Members and their Families from across America. The Run raises funds for the clinical care and support services Home Base provide at no cost to their patients.
For Gero and his wife Millie, this is a time of year they enjoy coming to Boston and sharing their love of their country with others; patriotism, sacrifice and freedom and honoring the families of the fallen. “I ran the 5K for the first time in 2017; as far as I could tell I was the oldest male at 78 years old!” explained Gero. “What a thrill to do this run again this year. I am now 79 years old and I still believe I am the oldest!”
Veterans from Vermont and across the country can receive help in healing from the invisible wounds of war at Home Base. The Boston-clinic has a two-week Intensive Clinical Program (ICP) that provides a years’ worth of treatment in two weeks’ time. Veterans are put on a path to life-long healing and then connected to care back in their home communities. All treatment, lodging, transportation and meals are fully covered. The program is possible through a grant from the Wounded Warrior Project as part of the Warrior Care Network, a groundbreaking collaboration between Home Base, Wounded Warrior Project and three other academic medical centers aimed at healing the invisible wounds.
“We can’t afford to forget the price of freedom,” Gero said. “This Run is a way to honor the fallen and acknowledge their sacrifices and offer hope for healing and renewed life for those who continue to suffer the invisible wounds of war.”
To donate to Roy Gero’s fundraising efforts in support of Home Base, visit www.homebase.org/Gero.
Registration and even information for the 2018 Run to Home Base presented by New Balance is available a www.runtohomebase.org. Pre-registration and a minimum fundraising commitment is required.