In a year like no other, Home Base knew Veterans Day would look—and feel—different than ever before. Since 2015, Veterans Day at Home Base has been marked by an annual TV Special hosted by WCVB Channel 5. As one of Home Base’s most important fundraising events, the annual Veterans Day special generates funding for the life-saving clinical care and support Home Base provides to Veterans, Service Members, and their Families. Most importantly, it raises invaluable awareness of the invisible wounds of war and Home Base’s noble mission. With reports of military suicides up as much as 20% in 2020, this year’s event was an important opportunity to raise awareness of the increased need for mental healthcare amid the ongoing pandemic. Despite the new challenges associated with COVID-19, the 2020 WCVB “Helping Veterans Heal” Televent proved to be the most successful yet—raising more than $433K in support of Home Base’s mission.
“In addition to bringing attention to the mental crisis and the Veteran suicide epidemic, funds raised through this event will help fund surviving spouses and parents to complete our Families of the Fallen Intensive Clinical Program (ICP), Special Operators to complete our Comprehensive Brain Health and Trauma (ComBHaT) program, for brain injuries, and more Veterans to complete the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) track of our two-week Intensive Clinical Program,” said Executive Director retired Brigadier General Jack Hammond.
In the months leading up to November 11th, Home Base and WCVB Channel 5 in Massachusetts worked tirelessly to overcome logistical challenges and reimagine the event for 2020. Social distancing mandates meant the “live phone bank” would need to be redesigned. This also meant the “live interviews” featuring community leaders and supporters were conducted virtually.
With tremendous help from several former Home Base patients who courageously volunteered to share their stories, the 2020 “Helping Veterans Heal” event became a reality.
“These stories provide great insight into the challenges these warriors and their families have faced, as well as the impact of the programs we are raising funds for this year,” explained Michael Allard, Home Base Chief Operating Officer “We are incredibly grateful for the entire team at WCVB for all they do to create more awareness around the invisible wounds and the mission of Home Base. We are also deeply thankful for the Veterans and Family Members who bravely shared their stories of perseverance and healing.”
Despite the difficulties of 2020, this Veterans Day proved that the Home Base community—or ‘Home Base Nation’—is stronger than ever and served as a powerful reminder of the good that can be accomplished when people work together to make a difference in the lives of those who have served.
Please click below to watch—and share—the segments from the 2020 “Helping Veterans Heal” televent on WCVB Channel 5: