The Anthropology of Service – Featuring Sebastian Junger

As our military brothers and sisters make the transition home to a nation that may genuinely support them, one’s sense of purpose is not always easy to find. As a country, we see that depression, post-traumatic stress or anxiety challenge many service members. At the same time, we see that barriers to thriving at home are not necessarily due to mental illness, rather to transitioning back to daily life. The irony is common: Community and connection can be found overseas within a unique culture of bonds, yet at times so hard to accomplish right in our own back yards.

To dial in and learn more on service and the human connection, we sat with acclaimed author and director Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm, War, A Death In Belmont). As a combat journalist and work at ABC News and Vanity Fair, Sebastian is a non-military anthropologist who has much to teach us through personal and extensive engagements with our service members overseas. If there is one book you should read before or after listening to this episode, it is Sebastian's Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, and while you are at it, see the documentary Restrepo.

We enjoyed our visit and conversation with Sebastian at his home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Greeted by Daisy, the docile Junger dog, we climbed to the second floor of an A-frame annex, with books dating back centuries lining the wall. Sebastian is genuine and easy going, and it was a true pleasure to talk with him, and take some notes...

Following the conversation, join us for our first Diner Debrief, a time to meet at the local diner or coffee shop and chat. We are joined by Army Warrant Officer 1, Armand K. Hunter who gives a personal perspective on our discussion, as we reflect on community, brotherhood, and coming home from war. We would like to hear from you too. Email us at Home Base Nation.

Thank you for listening,



Home Base Nation is a production of the Home Base Media Lab in Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston.

Introduction music by Darden Smith, founder of Songwriting With: Soldiers

Photography - Joe Wallace
Engineering and editing - Chuck Clough @Above The Basement

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram


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.