WHY I RUN: A collection of inspirational stories behind our 2021 Run to Home Base participants

Home Base is deeply grateful for all those who are participating in the 12th annual Run to Home Base on September 25, both in-person at Fenway Park and virtually. This annual fundraising event, presented by Raytheon Technologies, is critical for raising funds for our Veterans at a time when they are needed most post-COVID. Read the inspirational stories behind our runners and find out how you can participate.  

Running for Awareness 

Christel Kittredge (Raytheon Technologies, Billerica, MA)    

This year marks the ninth Run to Home Base for Christel Kittredge and, as always, she is excited to head to Fenway Park for the event. “I’m a huge Red Sox fan and an even bigger fan of our military members.” 

Christel’s aunt was an Army nurse in WWII, her father served in the Reserves and her boyfriend is a veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division. She runs and raises funds in honor of their resilience and that of the vets who share how the Home Base program helped them overcome adversity. “When you hear these people’s success stories and the amazing things that they’ve overcome to be back with their families and feel healthy and whole again, it’s incredible.” 

The 20th anniversary of 9/11 adds extra momentum to the 2021 run, but Christel says she’ll always participate. She’s proud that her company supports veterans, too. “The warfighters do so much to protect us while they’re out there. Of course, we should do as much as possible to help them when they get back.” 

The desire to raise awareness of what Home Base does for veterans is what constantly drives Christel’s longtime involvement in the annual run. “If it inspires even one more person to join the race,” Christel says, “or one more person to seek help, then it’s a success.” 

Christel is just one of the many Raytheon Technologies employees running this year. Currently, over 80 Raytheon Technologies employees are registered to participate and have already raised over $15,000 dollars – topping all fundraising teams. Raytheon Technologies title sponsorship also allows for every penny raised during the Run to Home Base to go directly to Veteran and family care and services provided by Home Base.  

“Your support and participation in the Run to Home Base change the lives of Veterans, Service Members, and their families. Through funds raised from this event, we are able to deliver on our promise to provide world-class care at zero cost to our Veteran & Military community.” ~ Brigadier General (USA ret.) Jack Hammond, Home Base Executive Director 

One team, One fight
Ricardo Figueroa (Raytheon Technologies, Veteran) 

Ricardo Figueroa, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, became involved with the Home Base program when he was transitioning out of the military. “The shift to civilian life is tough,” Figueroa says. “Home Base really helped me. When I was with the providers, it was almost like talking with a shipmate. They understood, so I felt comfortable being open.” 

Since his first Run to Home Base in 2018, Figueroa has put his all into the event. “I’ve pushed myself to run, volunteer at the water stations, and raise funds. Whatever I can do to give back. I believe in leading by example.” 

Run to Home Base carries even more meaning for Figueroa this year, the 20th anniversary of 9/11. In 2001, he was in middle school. “It really changed my outlook on life. In that moment, I decided to serve.”

20 years later, Figueroa continues to serve any way he can. He says he feels empowered to wear Raytheon’s red t-shirt at Run to Home Base because— “It’s one team, one fight.” 

The Run to Home Base is truly a one team effort from all sides – from corporate partners to volunteers to the crucial number of participants running for those they remember and celebrate.  

Please participate alongside the Home Base team as we return to Fenway Park for this most memorable day. To learn more and to register, visit www.runtohomebase.org. To see more of our runners’ stories, like Ricardo’s and Christel’s, check out our WHO DO YOU RUN FOR page.