On Saturday, members of the Northeastern community will participate in the 2015 Run to Home Base 9K run and two-mile walk, which finishes in Fenway Park at home plate. The annual fundraising event supports post-9/11 veterans and their families throughout New England to heal the “invisible wounds” of war—post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury—through clinical care, community education, and research.
The Northeastern team, called Huskies for Heroes, has participated in the event for the past several years and has now raised more than $80,000 in that time. We asked some team members to share why the event and the cause are so important to them.
Andy McCarty, Northeastern’s director of veteran and military services
“The Home Base Program is vital. Issues such as traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder can affect your personality in a variety of ways, and that can sometimes lead to a less than honorable discharge from the military. Veterans Affairs hospitals don’t provide care or services to veterans in these cases. The Home Base Program serves veterans regardless of their discharge status or ability to pay, and fills an enormous gap in providing services for those who shouldn’t want for anything.”
Nic Pszenny, CPS’14, co-founder of the Huskies for Heroes team
“I run so no veteran is left behind.”
Max Spahn, S’17, president of the Student Veterans Organization
“I ran last year. When I learned about this program and its mission to help veterans with traumatic brain injury and PTSD, it really hit home with me because many of my friends are dealing with these issues. The best thing about Run to Home Base is its outreach program, and I think this cause is the best in the city.”
Josie Smith, veterans services specialist at Northeastern
“This is a great cause. Our veterans have sacrificed so much for our freedom and the safety of our country that we should do everything we can do to help them fight the invisible wounds of war. This is one way I can say ‘thank you’ for their sacrifices and to help them and their families.”
Tim McCarty, financial aid processor for the College of Professional Studies
“I run because I can and I should. When you see what this organization does, it’s something that should be supported. It can be tough for veterans when they come home. They’re already behind the eight ball in a lot of ways, and this is one way we can support them.”
Todd Brenner, undergraduate financial aid counselor at Northeastern
“I’ve run other races, but being part of this event has made me train harder. When I train at the gym and when I run, I think about their motivation to keep us safe, and it keeps me going. They don’t have the option to quit.”