The Diné Naazbaa Partnership works to improve life for more than 14,000 Native American veterans living on the Navajo reservation. “Community is the real key to helping veterans,” says army veteran and program lead Bernadine Tyler, who was raised on the reservation. “It's amazing to see us unite in ways that we can give back to them – whether it's chopping wood for them, transporting them to meetings where they can apply for assistance, taking them to the medical appointments at VA facilities, running errands for them or buying their groceries.” Tyler estimates over a third of the Navajo people, including veterans and their families, live without power, paved roads, and housing, and deal with poverty, substance abuse, and mental illness. Tyler, who served on active duty for five years and the Army Reserves for three years, initiates DNP’s four-step plan to help: connect, educate, advocate and collaborate. “We focus on just that person, and once a strong connection is made and that assistance is rendered, then we move on to the next warrior,” she said.

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