Home Base Program will start helping Vietnam veterans

When the Vietnam War lurched to an end in 1975, there was no diagnosis known as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Instead of being treated for the psychological effects of combat, many veterans simply put their uniforms away and suffered in silence.

Decades later, uncounted numbers suffer still, many too proud or too wary to seek help.


“Some of them don’t recognize they have the injury, and even if they do, they won’t admit it,” said Jack Hammond, a retired Army brigadier general from Reading.

Hammond and the Home Base Program he leads are working to change that. After eight years of treating Iraq and Afghanistan veterans for PTSD and other unseen injuries, the private partnership between the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital is poised to extend treatment to those who served in Vietnam and their families.

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Until now, Home Base, one of the only private clinics in the country that helps veterans heal from PTSD and traumatic brain injury, has focused on veterans who served after Sept. 11, 2001.

The expansion will be formally announced Saturday and coincide with an annual fund-raising road race — the Run to Home Base — that finishes at home plate inside Fenway Park. A separate tribute to Vietnam veterans will precede the Red Sox game that afternoon against the New York Yankees — 1,300 of these veterans and their family members will be honored on the field.

“For many of these guys, this is the one, last, open sore,” said Hammond, the executive director of Home Base, who served in…

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