When Diné Naazbaa Partnership (DNP) met Navy veteran Raymond (Ray) Balone, he told us he had been patiently waiting for his Navajo Nation veteran home for years, which had amounted to much emotional strain on his daily life. DNP connected with local organizations with Ray to get the ball rolling on portions of this process. Ray was not a sitting duck though.
During this time, he began actively seeking out his fellow-veteran community. Ray attended veteran meetings, conferences, and resource fairs to share his story and connect with others. This was when he also joined Shiprock Chapter Veterans Organization (SCVO) Color Guard group, which needed people to perform at Navajo Nation ceremonies.
Almost immediately, Ray felt joy and acceptance from his fellow battle buddies. The group clicked together so well, that performing became effortlessly successful. They were even able to compete at the state level, where they were recognized and won various awards for their work. This practice gave Ray something to look forward to day-to-day and eased his mind from the stress of his housing situation. Ray found a new passion in color guard, which boosted his optimism. Sometimes veterans overcome strife and frustration towards obstacles by incorporating things they love.
In this period, things started moving forward for him regarding his home. It's just a matter of time now before Ray has a new dwelling, but in the meantime, he will continue his peaceful mindset with color guard. DNP will continue to work with Ray through this process and support him in thriving in the Navajo community.
The Navajo Nation is stronger when our veterans are stronger. Connect with DNP to learn more about how you can give back to the Navajo veteran community by visiting our website and completing an online form: http://dinenaazbaapartnership.org/