Home Base’s Marine Veteran Ryan Casavant and his Staff Pick: Dancehall and Deployments – With Marine Veteran Shaggy

For our 1st Home Base Staff Pick, Our very own Team Leader of Veteran Outreach Marine Veteran Ryan Casavant gives some love to fellow Marine Veteran and … Dancehall and Reggae artist Orville Burrell, AKA Shaggy. Ryan talks about his road to the Marines, his deployment experience, and what he does at Home Base to support his peers and families. And as we look at those making history, this month in Black History Month, you cannot find any other GRAMMY-winning Marines out there… Shaggy has released 'Com Fly Wid Mi which has 11 Frank Sinatra songs all done in his own Reggae style, produced by collaborator Sting. Cheers to these two Marines who have served and continue to serve in many ways.

Some news:

-As we know, it’s been 1 year as of Feb 24th since the War in Ukraine. It is hard to believe, and not only do we think of those Ukrainian troops when it comes to their needs body-mind and soul, we think of the trauma that the civilians have been enduring. There are many people around MGB who have been helping since the get-go like BWH Navy Veteran Dr. Eric Goralnick and MGH’s Dr. Jarone Lee and many others - and now there seems to be even more need when it comes to mental health, not surprisingly. 

-In more celebratory news, Home Base was very happy to officially announce on Feb 22nd Last week, a first of its kind major federal funding of $5 million as we welcomed a visit from Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Representatives Stephen Lynch (MA-08) and Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) to our national center of excellence.

These funds will help support Home Base’s signature clinical programs serving families of the fallen - and active-duty special operations forces experiencing ongoing issues from traumatic brain injury – TBI.

Senator Warren who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, spoke some familiar words, not unlike what our friend and colleague Green Beret Jillian Kitching said that always resonates with me…About the simple equation, that their service = our service to help them to take care of them, when they return.

Warren said, “I think of it this way - A lot of what we do is about military weapons and all the technology. But The other half is about the people.”- “If we are going to have a strong military, then we have to treat our people better.”

Thank you Shaggy, and Ryan for your service, and your ongoing service to your fellow comrades and families. 

Special thanks to Tracy Bufferd for all your efforts and support in connecting Home Base with Dancehall, Reggae and all the genuine support of service from Shaggy and team. And… If you want more Shaggy at Home Base, check out the LIVE conversation at the Veterans Day Dinner we released February 2020. 


If you are your loved one is experiencing any emotional, mental health struggles, you are not alone and please contact Home Base at (617) 724-5202, or visit www.homebase.org.

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The Home Base Nation Team is Steve Monaco, Army Veteran Kelly Field, Phebe Garver, Justin Scheinert, Chuck Clough, with COO Michael Allard, Brigadier General Jack Hammond, and Peter Smyth.

Producer and Host: Dr. Ron Hirschberg
Assistant Producer, Editor: Chuck Clough
Chairman, Home Base Media Lab: Peter Smyth

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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. To learn more and connect with us at Home Base Nation: www.homebase.org/podcast

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.