Westborough woman runs to home base for fellow veterans
By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Technical Sergeant Kara Vautour is preparing to run in the 2014 Red Sox's Run to Home Base event Saturday, July 19. The event is held to raise money and awareness for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. This will be the Westborough resident's first year participating.
“I will be running with my unit which is the 439th Aeromedical Staging Squadron. This is obviously a cause that is extremely important to us. There will be about 3,000 runners in the race but only about 300 are active military. This program is there to not only support those veterans that are injured, but their families as well. Very often times, it's not just the veteran going through difficulties but the family that has to adapt to all of the changes,” Vautour said.
Vautour grew up in Westborough and joined the Air Force after college because she wanted to serve her country. She has been in the military for 10 years. She is a veteran and currently serving as airman at the Westover Air Base in Chicopee, where she attends training for one weekend per month and at least two weeks each year so that she is ready for deployment. She has been deployed three times – once to Iraq and twice to Germany.
“I am a med tech and help to transport our wounded veterans home. I help to care for them during the interim prior to putting them on the plane. I get a lot of satisfaction out of what I do. These invisible wounds of war are very complex. Every one of our patients is so supportive of each other. In my military job, we get to see people at their worst but the human spirit at its best,” she said.
Because she is a reservist, Vautour holds a regular civilian job. She holds a Master of Science degree in occupational therapy and currently works at the West Roxbury Campus of the VA Boston Healthcare System.
There will be about eight to 15 members of her unit participating in this event. They are hoping to raise at least $2,000.
“I believe the 9K course (5.6 miles) goes through Kenmore, along the Charles River but one of the most exciting parts to this event will be that those participating will actually get to cross “home plate” at Fenway Park. The stands will be opened to family members cheering on the runners. This is a really fun way to raise money for a very important cause,” Vautour said.
The day will be filled with good food, entertainment and fun presented by New Balance and sponsored by the Red Sox Foundation and Mass General Hospital.
Anyone wishing to take part in the Run to Home Base and/or make a donation can go to http://www.runtohomebase.org/2014RunToHomeBase/439ASTS.
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