Commander to join Vietnam vets salute in Beantown

American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt will join his fellow Vietnam War veterans during the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital's 8th annual “Run to Home Base” fundraiser July 15 at Boston’s legendary Fenway Park. The Vietnam veterans will be honored during a ceremony prior to the start of the Red Sox game against the New York Yankees.

Proceeds from the 9k run and 5k walk will benefit “Home Base,” a program of the Red Sox Foundation which is dedicated to healing invisible wounds for post-9/11 veterans and their families through clinical care, wellness, education and research. The Run to Home Base will also hold a pre-game ceremony to honor Vietnam veterans at 7:15 am.

Schmidt, a retired Air Force veteran, served in Vietnam 50 years ago. “As a Vietnam War veteran and as a Legionnaire, I never miss an opportunity to say ‘welcome home,’ to the men and women who served there,” he said. “The American Legion will continue to advocate for the needs of these heroes and remember those who never made it back. The Vietnam War veterans represent the largest segment of American Legion membership. But this isn’t about membership. It’s about serving those who served us.”

Vietnam War veterans will also have the opportunity to share their experiences with a film crew from the 2017 Vietnam Veteran Oral History Project. The crew will be conducting interviews at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall July 17-21. The goal of the history project is to use the footage to maintain an historical record to be kept on file and shared with the Library of Congress Veterans History project. Participants will receive complimentary footage of their interview. To participate in the History Project, please contact Andrew Ringlee at andrew.j.ringlee.civ@mail.mil or call (515) 441-1519.

Information about the Run to Home Base can be found at www.runtohomebase.org. Although the pre-game ceremony for the Red Sox game is already filled to capacity, Vietnam veterans who wish to participate can be placed on a waiting list by emailing redsoxfoundation@redsox.com or calling (617) 226-6012.