Royalton, Vermont- Resident Runs to Fenway Park in Honor of Fallen Friends

Staff Sergeant Robert Farnsworth

Robert Farnsworth is a patriotic American – a combat Veteran who spent eight years in the military, a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army and a Sniper in Iraq.

In Iraq, Farnsworth placed his life on the line for his Nation against an enemy who set out to destroy the very freedom he swore to protect.  The enemy wasn’t going to succeed— not under his watch. Farnsworth and his team served with honor, bravery and courage and defeated the enemy–and he and his team made it back home.  However, it came at a price for two of his teammates.   His friends made it back home, but they were internally injured, beyond the help of a surgeon; their injuries were invisible to an x-ray and a surgeon’s hand.  The injuries were as vivid as the sun on a clear day to these two Soldiers who were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Those two Soldiers, U.S. Army Specialist Patrick Gibbs and Sergeant James Lyons, began their battle and fight with PTSD the minute their boots hit the ground on U.S. soil.  It was an hour-by-hour, day-by-day fight – relentless, and painful.  Sadly, and tragically, the enemy could not kill them in Iraq, but their invisible injury would drive them both to take their own lives at home—PTSD proved to be too much. Another two young lives lost thousands of miles off the enemy lines.  Lyons and Gibbs became one of the 20 veterans who take their own lives each day.

Specialist Patrick Gibbs

For Farnsworth, the loss of his friends was too close to home.  Lyons and Gibbs were his teammates, battle buddies and best friends.  “Too many veterans lose the fight with PTSD.  These men and women go off to fight our wars and it is up to us as fellow countryman to take care of them when they get home. It’s the right thing to do,” said Farnsworth.

Farnsworth signed up to participate in the 2018 Run to Home Base presented by New Balance in honor of his fallen comrades. 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.

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.

Sergeant James Lyons

Farnsworth’s goals for running this year is to help raise awareness and treatment that the Home Base programs offer for not only the Soldiers who battle with PTSD but also for their families who have endured the effects of post-traumatic stress and other unseen wounds within the home.   Robert’s call out across the Nation he so loves is this, “Twenty Veterans lives are lost every day due to suicide, many of whom combat PTSD daily. Let us tell them on July 28, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts they are not alone.”

Last year, approximately 2,500 runners and walkers participated, including 400 actively serving Military participants. This year’s Run to Home Base will pay a special tribute to Families of the Fallen.

So far, Robert has raised $265.00; his goal is to raise $2000.00 for Home Base. Click here to donate to Robert Farnsworth’s fundraising efforts in support of Home Base.

Registration and event information for the 2018 Run to Home Base Presented by New Balance is available at www.runtohomebase.org.  Pre-registration and minimum fundraising commitment is required.