Dear Friends of Home Base,
We live in a world that is torn by conflict. In fact, this is one of the most dangerous periods of time in our Nation’s history. The reemergent threat from Russia and China, growing tensions between North Korea and Iran, and the asymmetrical threat of international terrorism have converged to present a “perfect storm” of enemies. These conditions, combined with the political discord in Washington and divisive rhetoric across the country, can leave us anxious and frustrated regarding our future. But these are challenges we must overcome.
Each Veterans Day, we join together for a moment of peaceful reflection to honor those who continuously safeguard the many freedoms we enjoy. These men and women have demonstrated their loyalty to our nation by stepping forward to face our enemies, all too often sacrificing their lives for our collective security. This Veterans Day, I would ask you to take a moment to honor the sacrifices made by our Veterans and their Families in a more meaningful way. You can do this by drawing upon our national values and making a personal commitment to begin working with others – even those with different views – to address the many significant challenges we now face.
Our Veterans and military members have stood guard between our people and the wolves at the door for more than three and a half centuries. Nearly three million of our Veterans have paid for the freedoms we enjoy. Countless brave young men and women are struggling with wounds – both seen and unseen – wrought by multiple deployments and too many close calls.
The strength of America is derived from the United States, not the divided states. If you wish to honor the service of our Veterans, I would ask you to honor the values they fought for by having the personal and political courage to engage in conversations that lead to solutions for the complex challenges that are tearing up the fabric of this Nation. Those of us who have served in combat have witnessed first-hand the terrible and destructive nature of hatred and intolerance in troubled areas of the world where differences in cultural, religious, and political views result in blood feuds and war. My fellow Veterans and I did not go to war in faraway lands to watch this reprehensible behavior consume this nation. We can and must do better.
As we prepare to recognize Veterans Day, more than 200,000 American service members – to include many National Guard and Reserve units from New England – are deployed across the globe securing America and its values. Many will return home and require some assistance with their transition from Soldier to Citizen. Others will return home with wounds that are both visible and unseen. Sadly, some will lose the battles they fight after returning home, and they will join the 20 Veterans each day who die by suicide.
Our motto at Home Base is: “Their Mission is Complete. Ours has Just Begun.” We will continue to provide life-saving clinical care and support for our wounded and injured warriors and their families for as long as it is needed. But we will need your continued support to fund this care and assistance in building communities that embrace these Veterans when they return home. Hundreds of Veterans and actively serving members of the military – from 46 States – along with their families, have completed our two-week “Intensive Clinical Program.”
A few months ago, we piloted our first ever two-week program for family members who have lost a loved one to suicide. Thanks to a new partnership with the SEAL Legacy Foundation, we are currently developing a SEAL specific program. Continued partnerships with Wounded Warrior Project’s Warrior Care Network and the Bush Institute’s Warrior Wellness Alliance enable us to reach Veterans and Families across the nation. We are on track to move into our new National Center of Excellence in the Charlestown Navy Yard next July. Together we are accomplishing great things, and helping to reduce Veteran suicides.
At Home Base, we understand that hope is one of the most important tools we can bestow upon those we serve. Help us continue to provide hope to a population who has sacrificed so much to protect, to serve, and defend.
Tonight, I hope you will tune in to ABC News affiliates WCVB Channel 5 in Massachusetts, WMUR Channel 9 in New Hampshire, and WMTW Channel 8 in Maine from 7:30-9 PM, for our3rd Annual Home Base Veterans Day Television Special. You will hear from Home Base staff, and stories from Veterans and their families who have experienced difficulties as they returned from the battlefronts, and how Home Base gave them hope. Viewers have an opportunity to make donations to Home Base throughout the telethon, and all funds raised go directly to support our mission.
On behalf of our esteemed partners, the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital, and our entire Home Base team, thank you for all that you do to champion our organization. And to our nation’s Service Members, Veterans and Families today on Veterans Day and in fact every day, we stand by you. We stand with you. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. Your mission is complete, but ours has just begun.
Brigadier General (RET.) U.S. Army