In this episode, Dr. Ron meets with Tom Werner, Chairman of the Boston Red Sox and the Liverpool Football Club to discuss planting the seed of Home Base along with the Massachusetts General Hospital after a Red Sox visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center following their 2007 Championship, Tom talks about his father's experience and role in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in WWII, protesting the Vietnam War in college, his rode to producing some of the most iconic American TV shows of all time, his personal story of the Flight 11 itinerary change that resonates with him often, especially on this 9/11 20th anniversary, and how the Red Sox with their MGH partners have been so proud to contribute to the success of Home Base and its ability to reach our veterans and military families for the care they need and deserve.
It is hard to know where to begin with our next HBN guest. It makes sense to begin with a recent award for service at the White House just a few months ago. The second-highest award from the head of the Department of Defense, the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service for his work with the Red Sox Foundation in creating Home Base, along with our partner Massachusetts General Hospital.
Creativity is the common thread to our guest’s entire career… As he and his creative and successful teams hold other awards you may have heard of like multiple Emmys and Golden Globes and of course … (4) World Series Championships, and several trophies and a title in England’s Premiere Football League.
Yes, this can only be Tom Werner, but with all the awards and accolades mentioned, Tom shows how much pride he has in Home Base, which began following a Red Sox team visit to the White House and Walter Reed Medical Center in 2008, and a conversation with MGH and Red Sox physician Dr. Larry Ronan.
Tom has had a unique path to serving veterans and the country’s military families of all eras, and having grown up in NYC with a father who had served in WWII, experiencing loss and trauma.
And on this 20th anniversary of 9/11, he talks about that day and the flight he had been scheduled to be on leaving Boston’s Logan airport.
Tom began studying government, graduating Harvard in 1971, and he was intrigued by documentary work, which led to producing and developing iconic American TV shows - Taxi, Soap, and Mork and Mindy, then on to creating The Cosby Show, Roseanne and others.
And later to the sports world, where he would eventually become Chairman of the Boston Red Sox in 2001 and Chairman of the Liverpool Football Club in 2010.
It’s fitting to talk with Tom Werner 20 years after a day that none of us will ever forget, and a two-decade war to follow, that has created trauma and stress for so many veterans and their families. As our servicemembers return to community, we can do more than thank them, as Tom tells me and we can continue to support their mental physical health so they can thrive as best as possible.
With many thanks to Brigadier General Jack Hammond for your service, for your Home Base leadership, and these reflections on the 20th anniversary of 9/11
Crowd at Fenway Park singing Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
Crowd at Liverpool Premiere Football Title ceremony singing You'll Never Walk Alone by Gerry and the Pacemakers
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Home Base Nation Team: Steve Monaco, Maureen Roderick, Laurie Gallagher, Karianne Kraus, with COO Michael Allard and Brigadier General Jack Hammond
Producer and Host: Dr. Ron Hirschberg
Home Base Media Lab Chairman: Peter Smyth
Theme music: The Butler Frogs
Home Base Nation is the official podcast of Home Base Program for Veterans and Military Families, a partnership of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Red Sox Foundation.
The views expressed by guests to the Home Base Nation podcast are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by guests are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Home Base, the Red Sox Foundation or any of its officials.