Hello! My name is Kathy Skerry and along with my husband Bobby I am participating in the 2019 Run to Home Base. I feel a personal connection to all three aspects of Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program, that is dedicated to healing the invisible wounds for Veterans, Service Members and their Families through world-class clinical care, wellness, education and research. First off, I am a huge Red Sox Fan. HUGE! I was able to stay faithful through the trials and tribulations of the curse of the bambino, predicting the 4-game sweep that led to the 2004 series and the win.
Secondly, through the wonderful cancer center at Mass General Hospital, I beat breast cancer. Granted, I had a smaller battle than many that I encountered each day in that radiation waiting room, but when I finally got to ring that bell upon treament completion emotions were flowing just the same.
Finally, my strongest connection is that my brother Bob is a combat veteran who served in Desert Storm. He joined the Marines right out of high school and I remember how proud our whole family was watching him graduate from boot camp. At that point you don't think about the possibility of your loved one going to war. Then it happens. And it sucks. It is frightening and worrysome and something that you think you will never live through. Here at home, praying to God everyday to bring my big brother, my hero, home safely. Watching my parents age beyond their years in those pre-social media days as report after report comes across the TV news of casualties and we wait for that confirmation that our Bob is ok. And then he is. And he comes home safely to a big party with all of the community welcoming him and thanking God he is in one piece. And physically he is. But mentally? On the outside, yes. But after that how could really you ever be "okay".
At the time, being so young, I never realized the mental toll that combat veterans suffer. I never realized the reason that Bob never wanted to watch the news, read the paper or have a conversation about his time overseas. Now I realize and EVERYDAY I thank God for bringing my brother home and I pray for all servicemen who don't start the fight but will battle it the rest of their lives.
I realize that we are a very blessed family. Unlike many other veterans, my brother found work, a wonderful wife, has three wonderful children and is the kindest, funniest, most supportive brother in the world. The number of veterans who struggle to find a somewhat normal life is staggering. This is why I am participating and ask for your donation to support this incredible foundation that helps veterans and their families. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.