BOSTON (CBS) – As more than 2,000 runners crossed home plate at Fenway Park last Sunday for the annual “Run To Home Base” 9K, soldiers overseas in Afghanistan also joined in.
Members of the 26th Yankee Brigade ran their own version of the race, complete with a home plate donated by the Red Sox. As special as the one at Fenway is, this one was signed by Massachusetts senator Scott Brown with the message “Bring it home… Thanks for keeping us safe.”
The soldiers, sailors, airmen and coalition forces ran three laps around Camp Phoenix to coincide with the fundraiser in Boston.
“It’s really important for us because it’s a race for veterans in Massachusetts,” said Chief Warrant Officer Amanda Tefft of Boston, who along with Lt. Colonel John Lee and retired Major David Frasor helped put the satellite race together.
“There’s a whole bunch of Red Sox fans and Massachusetts veterans in Afghanistan this year.”
The race in Boston benefits the “Wounded Warriors Project” which provides veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, combat stress or who have been physically injured with beneficial programs and a network of support.
In just the last two years, the race in Boston has raised over $5 Million for veterans.
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This year, they also helped out the race overseas.
“The Red Sox were very supportive, they sent us a home plate (and) Senator Scott Brown signed it,” said “(They) sent us some books that will be prizes for runners in the race. It’s just a good way for everyone here to think of everyone back home, because they’re thinking of us.”
“It’s a great cause. I just want to help out,” said Lt. Colonel Mark Merlino or Concord, who has been a Red Sox fan his whole life.
“I’m very disappointed I’ll miss the games this year, but the opportunity to do something that is happening at Fenway Park makes me feel at home,” said Tafft.