No-Shave November with a Purpose
Are you ready to brave the beard in support of Veterans & their Families this November? Join MBTA Transit Police Officer Kurt Power, U.S. Army Veteran, Purple Heart recipient and former Home Base patient for the 4th annual “No-Shave November” campaign in support of Home Base’s mission to help Veterans and Families heal from the invisible wounds, such as post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. Pledge $100 to forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation, raise awareness and break the stigma associated with post-traumatic stress (PTS) and other invisible wounds of war. All police, firefighters, corrections officers, EMTs, and paramedics are encouraged to participate. We also welcome any community supporters or companies to join our efforts, as this is a great way to encourage and motivate employees and make an impact, together.
In 2017, 60 Massachusetts Police Departments and 3 Community Supporters participated, raising over $128,000 in support of Veterans and their Families. This year, we hope to open the campaign to Red Sox Nation and welcome the participation of all New England and Southwest Florida First Responders. This year, we want to raise even more awareness and funds for the critical, life-saving care that Home Base provides to Veterans and their Families – And we need your help to do it!
2018 Participating Police Departments & Community Supporters
Thank you to the following police departments for pledging to support Veterans and their Families during the 4th annual First Responder “No-Shave November” campaign:
- Abington Police Department
- Ashburnham Police Department
- Ayer Police Department
- Belmont Police Department
- Beverly Police Department
- Boston College Police Department
- Chelmsford Police Department
- Easthampton Police Department
- Everett Police Department
- Framingham Police Department
- Franklin Police Department
- Manchester-by-the-Sea Police Department
- Maynard Police Department
- MBTA Transit Police Department
- New Bedford Police Department
- Northhampton Police Department
- Oxford Police Department
- Randolph Police Department
- Southampton Police Department
- Tewksbury Police Department
- Truro Police Department
- Narragansett Police Department
- Portsmouth Police Department
- West Warwick Police Department
- Smithfield Police Department
The Powerful Story Behind this Purple Heart Veteran’s ‘Alive Day’ Tradition
Many injured veterans recognize two days to celebrate their lives: their birthday and their ‘alive day’ — commemorating the day they were injured and escaped death while at war.
Kurt Power’s ‘alive day’ — the day he was hit and didn’t die — was October 10, 2005. He remembers it vividly. “We’d been in country for about 3 months. After coming out of a recon of a factory, we stopped two possible suicide bombers. The whole thing was a setup and I was sniped. I knew I was hit and I knew I was hit where he wanted to hit me. The bullet blew through the side of my chest.”
Kurt was immediately rushed onto an operating table, but his mission to serve his country was not complete. “I got out of surgery, everyone thanked me for my service, and they were ready to med-evac me home, but I told them with all due respect, everyone’s dying, I’m not going anywhere.” Kurt stayed and fount in Iraq until his deployment ended eight months later.
Kurt’s story of survival in Iraq was remarkable, but his struggle returning home to Massachusetts – all too common. “That’s when it hit me,” Kurt said. “I almost died on a table in Iraq. I lost buddies over there. All I could ask was why me? Why did I survive when greater men than me never made it home?. His wife, Jessica, also noticed a difference when Kurt came home. “He was feeling down all the time or just didn’t want to talk to me,” said Jessica. ” I didn’t know where to begin so I just avoided it and it became our way of life.”
Since the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts began in 2001 and 2003, respectively, many soldiers have come home with profound physical injuries and well as the invisible wounds, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and PTS. In some ways, the invisible wounds are the most difficult to identify and overcome, because they are invisible to a society that tends to think of wounds as only physical scars.
This is part of the reason Power counts himself among the lucky. “I made the phone call that changed my life, and talked with one of Home Base’s Veteran Outreach Coordinators. This wasn’t a random person on the other end of the phone – this was a heavy combat vet and a fellow Purple Heart recipient, who could finally relate to me in a world full of people who couldn’t,” Power recalls. “That’s when I felt like I had finally come to the right place.” Kurt began his one-on-one sessions with Home Base, then Jessica was invited to begin couples therapy. “Home Base has helped me not only overcome my issues from the way and how they pertained to our relationship but the survivor guilt from Iraq that was destroying my life. They helped me finally realize that my survival didn’t mean that someone else didn’t make it.”
Now, to celebrate his 12th annual “alive day,” Kurt is on a new mission – to help save lives and honor his fallen brothers. “The only wish I have for my ‘Alive Day’ is that we give the gift of hope, hope to all the veterans that don’t believe reintegration is possible. Hope to the approximately 20 veterans a day that may give up tomorrow.” Inspired by his experiences at Home Base, Kurt is launching the No-Shave November campaign to not only raise money for a program that helped him reintegrate into society after serving in combat but to open the dialogue and raise awareness of the invisible wounds affecting military families nationwide. “If I can convince just one person who needs help to listen to me and put their trust in the treatment at Home Base, this will all be worth it.”
Are You Ready to Join Kurt and Your First Responder Community?
To participate in No Shave November, all you have to do is grow a beard, mustache, goatee, mutton chop sideburns, soul patch, or some combination, during the month of November – it’s that easy!
- Pledge at least $100 to skirt customary restrictions on facial hair throughout November*
- Help raise awareness of the invisible wounds affecting Service Members and Veterans
- Join Home Base for a November 30 ceremonial shave-off and certificate presentation
- Garner support from Home Base via social media channels and media outreach for your efforts
- Make a difference in your local military communities
Like, Retweet, Instagram, and Share
With your help, we can get the word out. Help us spread awareness by sharing your efforts this No-Shave November on social media. Now that you’re braving the beard in support of Home Base and the military families we serve, snap it and let the world know that you’re making a difference this year! Every like and every re-tweet grows the No-Shave November campaign. Use #noshavenovember and tag @homebaseprogram in your posts.