Veterans Participating in Run-Walk to Home Base Speak to Event’s Importance in Helping Heroes Return

Thousands and thousands of people will cross home plate at Fenway Park on Sunday as part of the Run-Walk to Home Base, an annual fundraiser to support veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 9K run (or 3-mile walk) will help raise money for the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program as they continue their battle against the harsh post-war effects that veterans must deal with every day.

The Boston Globe profiled four heroes in Wednesday's edition, as those veterans will be in Boston on Sunday to participate in the run. The courageous stories of Sgt. Don Magoon, Sgt. Brendan MurphySgt. Greg Haddad and Sgt. Dominic Taverna Jr. all help illustrate the importance of the event.

"It's gotten a lot better, which is unbelievable," Magoon, who suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome, told the Globe. "No one is doing things that Home Base and MGH are doing."

The call for more veterans to get involved and seek help is also one of the principle points in the efforts to help upon their return from war. 

"Once you break through," Haddad said, "you have an appreciation for everything. I can't believe people complain if there's a line at Dunkin' Donuts. When I cross home plate I'm going to be thinking of guys that need help, the guys we lost."

It's apparent that the veterans are looking forward to not only being able to help raise more money for the cause, but they're also looking forward to the event itself.

"I wish more local veterans got involved," Murphy told the Globe. "This run would benefit them so much. You run all the time in the Army. Come out, it's the 100th anniversary of Fenway. Touch the same plate that [Dustin] Pedroia touches, run the base paths that Ted Williams ran."

Unfortunately, not all veterans are able to run in the race, as is the case with Taverna Jr. That's not stopping his father, 58-year-old Dominic Taverna Sr., from taking part this weekend. Dom Jr. continues to suffer from PTSD as well as a traumatic brain injury. 

It's Dom Sr.'s second year participating in the Walk-Run to Home Base.

"Somebody took my son from me and we're trying to get him back," he told the Globe. "We're doing that little by little, day by day, month by month, year by year.

"Someday he'll cross home plate. Someday he'll get there." 

Read the entire Boston Globe article by clicking here.

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