Revere resident Dominic Taverna is a military father. His son spent two tours of duty in Iraq. While his son was away, Dominic felt the stress and anxiety of having a loved one in combat. He thought the worry would cease when his son returned safely back home in 2007, but it continued as he watched his child struggle with invisible wounds from the war. “He had symptoms of PTSD and suffered tremendously,” Taverna recalls. “But my wife and I… we didn’t know where to go, or what to do. That is why Home Base is so appealing. Unlike other Veteran serving organizations, they have services for the military family. I wish I knew about them back then.”
Home Base is a partnership of the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital. The non-profit is the first and largest private-sector clinic in the nation focused on healing the invisible wounds of war such as post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, depression, anxiety, co-occurring substance use disorder, and military sexual trauma. They offer services to Post-9/11 Veterans, Service Members, and—their Families.
“Whoever a Veteran considers family—a spouse, parents, children or close friends— they are the primary support network, and sometimes need support themselves,” says Brig. Gen. (ret.) Jack Hammond, executive director, Home Base. “We offer support groups for family members, couples assessment and therapy, and other programs to address the warrior’s symptoms in a holistic way. These services are all provided at no cost to the patient or the family member.”
Taverna believes in what Home Base is doing so much, he raises funds for the organization– participating in their biggest fundraiser of the year, the Run to Home Base, presented by New Balance. The 9K run and 2.5 mile walk begins and ends at Fenway Park. Service men and women cheer on participants as they cross home plate. All funds raised benefit Home Base.
“When I heard the Red Sox were a part of something to help the soldiers who are coming home, I knew it was something I had to be a part of.”
Taverna completes the run runs with several friends including Lowell resident Mike Tierney. “Mike is a Veteran himself, so we have some common ground.” Their team, Solider On, hopes to raise $20,000 for Home Base. Additionally, Taverna hopes to raise awareness for the services they offer. “There are a lot of people suffering that may not even be aware of this program. I hope we can raise awareness so that all Veterans–and their families—can get the help they need and deserve.”
To donate to Dominic Taverna and his team, visit www.runtohomebase.org/soldieron2016. To register to run the 2016 Run to Home Base presented by New Balance, go to www.runtohomebase.org. If you want to learn more about Home Base and the invisible wounds of war, please visit www.homebase.org.
About Home Base:
Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program, is dedicated to healing the invisible wounds of war for Post-9/11 Veterans, Service Members and their Families through world-class clinical care, wellness, education and research. As a National Center of Excellence, Home Base operates the largest private-sector clinic in the nation devoted to healing invisible wounds such as post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression, co-occurring substance use disorder, military sexual trauma and family relationship challenges. Since its inception, Home Base has served more than 9,000 Veterans and Family Members with care and support, trained more than 25,000 clinicians, educators and community members nationally and remains at the forefront of discovering new treatments– ensuring a brighter future for the 21st century warrior and military family. For more information please visit www.homebase.org