Nic Pszenny, CPS’14, served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Kuwait for five years, during which time he witnessed the physical and unseen affects of war on fellow veterans. When he returned from active duty, he was determined to find a way to support those in need back home in New England.
For the past few years, Pszenny and many other members of the Northeastern community have participated in the annual Run to Home Base 9K run and 3K walk, which begins on Yawkey Way and ends at home plate in Fenway Park. The team, dubbed Huskies for Heroes, has grown each year and includes students, staff, and alumni. Twenty-five members will participate in this year’s event, which is Saturday, July 19.
The fundraising event is part of the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program. The program supports veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and their families throughout New England to heal the invisible wounds of war—post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury—through clinical care, community education, and research. According to the program, invisible wounds of war affect 30 percent of servicemembers who have served in either war.
So far this year the Huskies for Heroes team has raised more than $22,000. For more information and to support the team, visit runtohomebase.org/2014RunToHomeBase/h4h.
Pszenny will graduate in September from the College of Professional Studies’ bachelor of science in leadership program. He’s also a member of Northeastern’s Student Veterans Organization, which provides career services, advocacy, support, and other programming for Northeastern’s student-veteran community. Many other SVO members are part of the Huskies for Heroes team.
Pszenny founded the team a few years ago with his girlfriend Caitlin Kreitman, BHS’10, MS’11, and her sister, Lauren, BHS’13, both of whom were undergraduates at Northeastern at the time. He recalled watching Lauren run in the inaugural Run to Home Base in 2009 and being thrilled to see so many people come out to lend their support to the cause, from business owners and politicians to others veterans and friends and family.
“It’s a great event that brings us together,” Pszenny said. “It’s not just simply about raising money to help veterans get treatment. It’s about raising awareness. Some of the challenges veterans face are natural reactions to serving in combat. They’re not broken; they’re just transitioning back into civilian life.”