Coming home from war is a challenge. For so many sons and daughters who have gone off to serve their country, they find it a tall order to blend back into their communities with some sense of normalcy. Some patriots come back with survivor’s guilt, the haunting memories of death and destruction, agonizing moral dilemmas, and often exposed to crimes against humanity. This is their reality in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual realms while in combat and at home—it is not a light switch they can turn on and off.
Aaron Ladner from Nashua, New Hampshire is the grandson of U.S. Army World War II Veteran Anthony Kranmas, the nephew of U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran Bruce Raymond and U.S. Marine Corps Gary Kranmas. He resonates with the pain his grandfather and uncles endured when they returned from their wars. Ladner explains, “These men came home, unable to cope in a healthy manner, they used alcohol to deal with their demons and in the end three of them died in drunk driving accidents.”
This year, for the third time, Ladner will participate in the Run to Home Base presented by New Balance on July 28 at Fenway Park, to help raise awareness of the invisible wounds so many of our returning Veterans face when they come home. He is a member of “Team Run for the Heroes”, led by team captain, Tom Loukola and joined by two other team members Sean West and Andrea Cappello.
The charity race–a 9K run/5K walk that begins and ends inside Boston’s Fenway Park– benefits Home Base, 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 is their biggest charity event, raising funds for the clinical care and support service they provide at no cost to their patients. Ladner is dedicating this years’ run in memory of his grandfather and uncles.
“I am so proud of my grandfather and my three uncles,” added Ladner. “Although I did not serve in the Military, I am a grateful American who has the utmost respect for those who have served and will continue to fight for our rights and way of life.”
Although based out of Boston, MA, care for the invisible wounds is available to Veterans from New Hampshire and across the country. Home Base’s two-week Intensive Clinical Program (ICP) 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.
“Hearing about the positive, life-saving impact the Home Base program and its services has had on our returning Service Members, Veterans and their families makes this run all worth the effort—that is why I run and that is why “Team Run for Heroes” is running,” added Ladner.
Ladner’s teammate West adds, “This is a cause that is very close to my heart because I have many friends and family who have or are serving in the U.S Military. I want to be able to give back to the men and woman protecting our freedoms.”