Supporting the Peaceful Warrior – With Shawndin Tracy & Dino Haley of Navajo Nation and the Arizona VA

In today's episode, Dr. Ron Hirschberg talks with Veteran Affairs (VA) social worker Dino Haley and VA Facility Rural Health Coordinator Shawndin Tracy, both currently based out of the Phoenix, Arizona VA. At 19 percent, Indigenous Americans have the highest per-capita of any ethnic group to serve in the U.S. military. There is a pride in service, in defending ones' country, as well as in working to preserve community,  traditions and ways of life for indigenous communities. The Navajo people refer to themselves diné, which translates to "the people" or "children of the holy people" in Diné Bizaad. Dino and Shawndin work every day to serve indigenous veteran and military family communities. In this episode, they speak about the unique experience of indigenous veterans, the importance of honoring and using traditional healing practices with veterans once they've returned home, the barriers they face in providing care to their communities, and more.

Navajo Nation, which was established in 1868. With a size of over 27,000 miles, and spanning the borders of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, it’s the largest reservation in the U.S. In Diné Bizaad, the word for warrior is naabaahii. And the word for wellness, which also encompasses peace, harmony and balance, is expressed in the word hózhó. Dino Haley and Shawndin Tracy’s shared mission is to always find and restore hózhó for the Diné people and for all people, and to support the peaceful naabaahii, or warrior, in not only all those who serve but for the entire community. 

The music heard at the beginning and end of this episode is a 2018 live recording of "Hozho Nahasdillii'" by Diné singer-songwriter Clara Natonabah




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  

The music heard throughout this episode is "Hozho Nahasdillii'", by Diné singer-songwriter Clara Natonabah. This version was recorded live in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2018. This track is used with permission from the artist. Learn more about Clara and her music at

Theme music for Home Base Nation: "Rolling the tree" by The Butler Frogs

Photo used for the episode art is of a memorial statue commemorating the WWII Navajo code talkers at the Navajo Nation Headquarters in Window Rock, AZ. 

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The Home Base Nation Team is Steve Monaco, Maureen Roderick, Laurie Gallagher, Karianne Kraus, Lucy Little, Taylor Orlando, with COO Michael Allard, Brigadier General Jack Hammond, and Peter Smyth

Producer and Host: Dr. Ron Hirschberg
Producer, Sound, Editor: Lucy Little
Chairman, Home Base Media Lab: Peter Smyth

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: To Donate to Home Base where every dollar goes to the care of veterans and military families that is cost to them, go to:

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.