From the desk of Executive Director Brigadier General (Ret.) Jack Hammond: Memorial Day 2023
Dear Home Base Nation,
Today, I ask you to take a moment to honor and remember our Fallen Heroes – those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our freedom. Each Memorial Day, we are privileged to celebrate their lives, support their Families and salute their bravery, which undoubtedly strengthens our Nation and the freedoms we enjoy.
This past week, we once again partnered with our colleagues at the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund to create its iconic Memorial Day Flag Garden on Boston Common. Each of the 37,000+ flags planted at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument represents every brave Massachusetts Service Member who gave his or her life defending our Nation since the Revolutionary War.
Many Home Base staff joined hundreds of volunteers from all walks of life to complete the garden. It is a breathtaking tribute to the true meaning of Memorial Day and a powerful message of support to Families of the Fallen that their sacrifices will never be forgotten. For more information about this signature community building event, please click here.
Looking forward to the summer, I am proud to share that we will honor the service and sacrifice of our Special Operations Force (SOF) community during the July 22 pregame ceremony of the Boston Red Sox versus New York Mets game the same afternoon as this year’s Run to Home Base, the 14th edition of our most critical fundraiser. This year’s ceremony to honor our SOF Warriors comes at a critical time for us, as we endeavor to expand space at our National Center of Excellence to serve an explosive growth of operators seeking care at Home Base. To learn more about our SOF programs, please click here. To learn more about the capital expansion, please continue to check runtohomebase.org for the latest updates.
As a parting thought, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan concluded in 2021, but there are still hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops forward deployed across the globe in harm’s way. We also continue to lose more than 20 Veterans to suicide each day. Most Veterans of this era, including myself, have lost many friends and fellow Warriors to suicide, and the unfortunate truth we face is that the protracted nature of their invisible wounds will present Veterans and their Families with significant challenges for the foreseeable future. There is an increasingly flawed perception that the clinical care requirements for our Warriors ended with the cessation of these combat operations, however, the current demand for mental health and brain injury care has never been higher than it is today.
The Home Base mission to heal the invisible wounds of war for our Warriors and their Families is more critical now than ever before. Since our inception 14 years ago, we continue to see the lifesaving results of our programs. Through the efforts of our team and the support of a grateful Nation, Home Base is recognized as one of the premier clinical programs in the U.S. and has saved thousands of lives, but we know many more need our help. That is why our motto continues to be, “Their mission is complete. Ours has just begun.”
If you or a loved one needs support, connect with us at homebase.org/getcare.
Retired Brigadier General, U.S. Army | Executive Director, Home Base
Home Base is a national nonprofit dedicated to healing the invisible wounds of war for Veterans of all eras, Service Members, Military Families and Families of the Fallen through world-class, direct clinical care, wellness, education and research – all at no cost to them – regardless of era of service, discharge status or geographical location. The program was founded by Massachusetts General Hospital and the Boston Red Sox. Learn more at www.homebase.org.