Month-long Campaign Supports Veteran and Family Care at Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program
BOSTON, MA – On Thursday, Nov. 30, life will become a lot less hairy for 60 police departments across Massachusetts as they say good-bye to their beards, moustaches and goatees at a first-of-its-kind ceremonial shave-off at Fenway Park.
Typically, police departments have a strict facial hair policy code, but throughout the month of November, department heads nixed the facial hair ban for those who championed raising awareness and funds for Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program, and their efforts in helping veterans and their families heal from the invisible wounds, such as post-traumatic stress (PTS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other service-related issues.
“The value our Veterans bring to local first responder communities is immeasurable, and it is incumbent upon us to be cognizant that our Veterans – some of whom continue to serve in blue uniform – may suffer from the so-called invisible wounds of war,” said Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner. “With this campaign, our first responders have made a powerful commitment to their local military communities to raise awareness about the challenges of returning to civilian life, and ensure the life-saving care at Home Base is available for the long haul.”
The first responder facial hair fortitude began three years ago when MBTA Transit Police Officer Kurt Power, an Army Veteran, Purple Heart recipient and former Home Base patient decided to go beyond the badge to not only help raise money for a program that helped him reintegrate into society after serving in combat, but open the dialogue and raise awareness of the invisible wounds affecting military families nationwide. Almost immediately, the MBTA Transit Police Department was on board – and helped rally dozens more departments to follow suit. ‘
“We have had a lot of first responders who want to do the right thing and believe in the greater good and want to help,” said Retired Brigadier General Jack Hammond, Executive Director of Home Base. “This campaign is providing the gift of hope; hope to all of the Veteran that don’t believe reintegration is possible – hope to the approximately 20 Veteran a day that may give up tomorrow.”
“Home Base changed my life after the war - and the life of my family,” added Kurt Power. “If we can reach at least one other Veteran who is struggling and connect them to Home Base; this will all be worth it.”