A Veterans Day Message from General (ret.) Fred Franks, Honorary Director of Home Base SWFL
Dear Friends of Home Base,
Each year on November 11th, across America we pause to observe Veterans Day and honor all those who served our Nation in our Armed Forces and what we stand for. To our Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families: all of you made a difference when it counted, and I consider myself privileged to be one of you living here in Southwest Florida. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.
I strongly feel that when men and women across our great country volunteer to serve – that one half of one percent who swear an oath to support and defend our Constitution against all enemies with their lives as that might be necessary – there is created an implied trust that we will be there for them when they come home. Home Base SWFL is devoted to fulfilling that trust.
This year we saw the withdraw from Afghanistan. I strongly believe all those who served in Afghanistan have earned 20 years of freedom for all of us in America from terrorist attacks launched from Afghanistan. Our Afghanistan Veterans many more than once and from all our Armed Services, did that with great courage, ability to adapt, selfless sacrifice, intense devotion to each other, and with battlefield skill equal to any generation of our US Armed Forces. All of us in America can be forever grateful to them and to their families and to those who gave that last full measure in that mission and to their Gold Star Families for that accomplishment. Please reach out to our Afghanistan Veterans and Families and Gold Star Families this Veterans Day and tell them Thank You for that service and sacrifice.
Our five-county SWFL region is home to more than 100,000 Veterans and their Families from all eras of service., Those Veterans seeking mental health services have access to our Home Base nation-wide Intensive Clinical Program headquartered in Boston. To fulfill our trust to them in SWFL, Home Base SWFL provides Veterans, Service Members, and their Families evidence-based clinical services at Lee Health begun in 2019 and David Lawrence Center begun this month. In addition, we continue to serve those Veterans with our Warrior Health and Fitness Program here in SWFL begun in 2014.
In addition, this year Home Base also expanded wellness services in partnership with Tampa General Hospital. On October 4th we launched the Warrior health & Fitness program to help Veterans and Families in Tampa take control of their physical health and begin the first real step in self-care. All these Programs are part of our ongoing mission to help heal the invisible wounds of service.
For my fellow Veterans and your Families, thank you for your service and sacrifice. I am honored to be in your ranks this Veteran’s Day and everyday as I was honored to once wear the uniform of the United States Army in the ranks of so many selfless and courageous Americans.
On behalf of our SWFL Home Director, Armando Hernandez, and our Home Base SWFL Team, we wish you all the very best this Veterans Day. We hope you will assist your fellow Veterans to be aware of Home Base SWFL’s expansion efforts by raising awareness of these programs available to them and their Families at no cost. Our Veterans earned all of this by their service and sacrifice for us all.
With great respect,
Gen, US Army (ret)
Honorary Director Home Base SWFL