Former Home Base Employee to Race for Home Base at the 2022 Marine Corps Marathon
Learn more about Charlotte Luckey who is raising money for Home Base by running the 2022 Marine Corps Marathon.
What is your hometown city/state?
I currently live in Virginia Beach, VA, but I grew up in Connecticut and previously lived in Boston for nearly eight years.
What is your fundraising goal for this year and why? How much have you raised so far?
My ultimate goal is to continue raising awareness and spreading the word about Home Base. I have raised nearly $7,000 so far, but I would love to surpass my fundraising goal of $10,000.
Specifically, I am fundraising for Home Base’s 5-day Comprehensive Brain Health and Trauma Program. Based on a model developed for retired NFL players, this program provides members of the Special Operations (SO) community with integrated, multidisciplinary specialist evaluation, treatment, and care coordination.
Support Charlotte’s fundraising goal here.
How did you learn about Home Base/Marine Corps Marathon? What inspired you to participate and support Home Base?
I currently work as a Communications Manager for Mass General Brigham, but before this, I worked at Home Base for seven years. As an employee, I saw firsthand the incredible difference Home Base was making in the lives of Veterans, Service Members, and family members from all over the country. Although I no longer work for Home Base, it means the world to me to continue supporting the mission by participating in the Marine Corps Marathon.
Home Base will always hold a deeply special place in my heart. In fact, I met my husband, Max, through Home Base when he registered to run the Boston Marathon to raise critical funds for the organization in 2019. Max has served in the U.S. Navy since 2013, and our journey together has taken me from Boston to Kingsville, Texas, and now to Virginia Beach.
Max is currently deployed until next summer but participating in this marathon along with his brother—a Marine Corps Veteran and Purple Heart recipient—has given me the opportunity to feel like I am making a difference “from the beach” while he is away.
Our slogan is “Who Do You Run For”. Tell us WHY your run and/or WHO you run for.
When I was 21 years old, I was employed by a company contracted to coordinate the support function of non-performing VA loans. I spent a summer on the phone with countless beleaguered Veterans of all ages facing eviction. Many of these individuals had fallen behind on payments after losing a job due to unseen injuries sustained while serving our country. All these years later, I still remember their stories and how powerless I felt during those phone calls. This experience is what eventually led me to work at Home Base.
Through my relationship with Max and the life we have built together, I have gained a greater understanding of what it means to serve. There is a flip side to every coin, and I have experienced the easy friendships and adventures that come along with the loneliness, stress, and—too often—loss.
Some of this is an inherent part of military culture, but I have also borne witness to the damage wrought by a lack of access to quality care and support. Despite efforts to reduce the stigma associated with mental health, it remains nearly impossible for Service Members to seek help and remain on active duty. You don’t need to spend much time in this community to hear about the countless barriers to care and the despair these men and women feel, knowing that seeking help could jeopardize their careers. Organizations like Home Base should not have to exist, but I am eternally grateful they do.
The costs of war are as far-reaching as they are complex, and while not everyone serves in the military, I believe we all have a role to play in supporting those who do and ensuring they have the care they have undoubtedly earned a thousand times over.
When I was 21, I was on the outside looking in. The path I have followed in the decade that has passed has taken me across the country and back several times over. I’m 31 now, and our Veterans, Service Members, and their families are no longer abstract figures in my life. This is my world now, and they are my husband, my family, and some of my closest friends. I’m running for Home Base because I love my community, and I believe I can do more to help others find a path to healing and hope.
Is there anything you would like to add about Home Base, the Marine Corps Marathon, Veterans, the invisible wounds of war, or anything that you feel is important for people to know?
In addition to raising critical funds to support Home Base’s mission, I hope to raise awareness about the vital work this organization is doing to support the military community here in Virginia Beach—and beyond. I am proud to support Home Base’s mission through this marathon, and it is my greatest hope that someday there will be fewer barriers to care for our nation’s Veterans, Service Members, and family members.
To support Charlotte and her goal of raising $10,000 for Home Base, please visit her fundraising page here.