As time marches forward into a new year, I would like to extend my deepest thanks for your support. Together, we have made a tremendous impact in the lives of our Veterans, Service Members and their Families. Thank you!
We have a number of exciting things to be thankful for during this holiday season:
-A new collaboration was developed with a national military family organization called TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). Home Base launched a new 2-week Intensive Clinical Program for military families of “Fallen Service Members” – our pilot program hosted 10 widows whose husbands or significant others died by suicide after returning home from Iraq or Afghanistan.
-In a pre-game ceremony at Fenway Park this past July, we announced Home Base would begin treating Veterans of all eras. There was not a dry eye in the park when 1,400 of these old warriors and their family members entered through the centerfield wall and received the welcome home ceremony they never received when they returned from Vietnam.
-A new partnership has been established with the SEAL Legacy Foundation to care for our Navy SEALs and their families who have endured multiple deployment cycles.
-In 2017, Home Base was a beneficiary of Prince Harry, Prince William and Princess Kate’s Royal Foundation through their “Heads Together” campaign to change the conversation about mental health. The effort sent two inspiring Veterans, one British, one American, off to run the Boston and London Marathons together within five days.
-Home Base was also recognized as a National Center of Excellence for mental health and brain injury care by President Bush and he asked us to join his Warrior Wellness Alliance.
-Finally, we welcomed several new members to the Home Base team: Thomas Spencer, MD has joined as the new Chief Medical Director. Dr. Spencer is well known from his impressive clinical work at MGH and at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. His arrival at Home Base was the talk of the town…until he was upstaged by our newest addition to the roster, a golden retriever facility dog named Gatsby.
There is much to be thankful for this holiday season, but there is no time to rest…not while our troops continue to deploy and while our military families sit with an empty seat at the table.
In the coming year, we expect a renewed commitment from Wounded Warrior Project in support of the groundbreaking Warrior Care Network: a national partnership of four academic medical centers providing top notch, evidence-based treatment to Veterans battling invisible wounds. Home Base will break ground on our new facility in the Charlestown Navy Yard this winter. The state-of-the-art center for healing the invisible wounds will open in 2018 and allow us to double the number of Veterans we serve.
We will continue to change the landscape of care for the 21st century warrior and military family…making treatment accessible, removing all barriers, and providing the world-class care we are known for without stigma attached. Their mission is complete, but ours has just begun.
Wishing you and yours the gift of HOPE this holiday season.
Brigadier General Jack Hammond
Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program