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Articles below: Code Talkers & Code Talkers Day, Combat Powwow, PTSD Native Vets & National Memorial for Native Americans         Look for Women in the Military & Shadow Wolves

Nevada Vets

2017 has been designated in Nevada as the year to recognize Native American Veterans. Native Americans have the highest per capita enlistment rate in the country but hardly any enroll for the benefits they deserve and have earned.

Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian
On January 21, the museum opens a new banner exhibition, “Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces,” dedicated to the remarkable history of the brave American Indian and Alaska Native men and women who have served in the United States military. The contributions of Native servicemen and women have been largely unrecognized.

This will soon change. The “Patriot Nations” exhibition will also announce the development of the National Native American Veterans Memorial, requisitioned by Congress to be placed on the grounds of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.  Produced by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the exhibition was made possible by the generous support of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

Image: Choctaw chief Pushmataha (ca. 1760–1824) allied with the Americans during the War of 1812. Impressed by Pushmataha’s achievements in both battle and diplomacy, U.S. army officers dubbed him the Indian General. John William Gear (1806–1866), copy after Charles Bird King (1785–1862). Hand-colored lithograph on paper. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Betty A. and Lloyd G. Schermer. NPG.99.167.6

Native American Honor Flight Nevada veterans receive recognition in Washington  By Ryan Kern Friday, November 11th 2016     WASHINGTON (News 4 & Fox 11) — Fifty Native American veterans with Honor Flight Nevada were honored in the nation’s capital on Friday.A massive crowd at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall in Washington thanked the veterans, who traveled as part of the first all-native Honor Flight trip The ceremony recognized them in the first minute, and they laid a wreath in front of the memorial for Nevada service members killed in Vietnam. The group also had the chance to hear from Veterans Affairs Sec. Bob McDonald at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Native Americans’ service to Army, nation recognized  By David Vergun, Army News Service     November 7, 2013 | Across DoD  Fort Hood Sentinel

WASHINGTON – “Throughout our Army’s 238-year history, American Indians have served valiantly and with distinction in times of peace and war, while also fighting for the right to be an equal part of our nation,” Army leaders said.

Recognizing the contributions of American Indians to the Army and the nation were Secretary of the Army John McHugh, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III, who tri-signed a “National American Indian Heritage Month” letter for the November observance.

American Indians served in the Army in every war in America’s history, as well as in peacetime. Additionally, 25 American Indians have received the nation’s highest award for valor – the Medal of Honor.

“This legacy continues today with the brave Soldiers who have served and continue to serve in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world. We are proud of their service and honored by their sacrifices,” the Army leaders said.

While Native Americans have contributed much to the Army and the nation, America’s relationship with them has not always been amicable.  Maj. Gen. Gregg Potter addressed Soldiers and guests at last November’s Native American celebrations at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., where he was then commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence.

“Native American heritage celebrations are very important because we learn about other cultures,” Potter said. “The Army has not always done so well with understanding other cultures. Native American Heritage Month is important because that is a culture that we didn’t understand.

“Quite frankly,” he continued, “we didn’t treat the first inhabitants of our country well, and there are others in our history that we have done the same to. I think the more we can learn from each other, the better off we can be.”

In 2012, 8,138 Native Americans served in the Army, according to Dr. Betty Maxfield, chief, Office of Army Demographics. Of these, 3,705 were active-duty enlisted, 92 were warrant officers and 405 were officers. The Army National Guard had 2,483 enlisted, 56 warrant officers and 159 officers. The Army Reserve had 1,055 enlisted, 22 warrant officers and 161 officers.

Ten years earlier in 2002, 8,598 Native Americans served in the Army, Maxfield said. Of these, 3,665 were active-duty enlisted, 80 were warrant officers and 376 were officers. The Army National Guard had 2,680 enlisted, 39 warrant officers and 139 officers. The Army Reserve had 1,344 enlisted, 14 warrant officers and 261 officers.

Throughout the month of November, installations Armywide will honor Native Americans with special events like tribal dances, art exhibits, food and historical displays.

“We encourage our Army Family to commemorate (Native Americans’) contributions that help make our Army what it is today – Army Strong,” said Army leaders in their letter.

Code TalkerRoy Hawthorne, Navajo Code Talker. USMC.
He walked the 2 mile parade route. Two Navajo Marines are helping him with the last 1/2 mile.

On the Pacific front during World War II, strange messages were picked up by American and Japanese forces on land and at sea. The messages were totally unintelligible to everyone except a small select group within the Marine Corps: the Navajo code talkers-a group of Navajos communicating in a code based on the Navajo language. This code, the first unbreakable one in U.S. history, was a key reason that the Allies were able to win in the Pacific.

At Roy Hawthorne’s school, there was one sure way to get in trouble. Hawthorne lived on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico in the 1930s and attended a school run by the US government. Students at the school were strictly forbidden to speak their native Navajo language. If they spoke anything other than English, they would likely have their mouths washed out with soap. But Hawthorne never stopped speaking Navajo. At home and at play, he still used the language that had been passed down from one generation to the next. Years later, his knowledge of that language paid off for him and for his entire country. Hawthorne became a “code talker,” one of a group of about four hundred Navajos who served in the US Marine Corps during World War II. Their job was to send and receive secret coded messages.

The coder talkers invented a code based on their native language that was never broken by the enemy. The same language that once got Navajo children like Roy Hawthorne in trouble saved thousands of lives during the war.
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Code Talkers saved USACODE TALKERS DAY  ~ August 14th ~ LETS NOT FORGET!

Long before the days of the Second World War and America’s historic use of Navajo Code Talkers, there was a group of men who helped shape the end of the First World War. In the closing days of World War I, fourteen Choctaw Indian men in the Army’s Thirty-Sixth Division, trained to use their language, helped the American Expeditionary Force win several key battles in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign in France, the final big German push of the war. The fourteen Choctaw Code Talkers were Albert Billy, Mitchell Bobb, Victor Brown, Ben Caterby, James Edwards, Tobias Frazer, Ben Hampton, Solomon Louis, Pete Maytubby, Jeff Nelson, Joseph Oklahombi, Robert Taylor, Calvin Wilson, and Walter Veach. The Choctaws were recognized as the first to use their native language as an unbreakable code in World War I. The Choctaw language was again used in World War II.

Choctaws conversed in their language over field radios to coordinate military positions, giving exact details and locations without fear of German interception. The shameful act on the part of the United States is that although these men were highly praised by their company and battalion commanders with promises of medals, no further recognition for their services were ever given. There can be little doubt as to these men’s importance, not only in the First World War, but also in the Second. If not for the success of the Choctaw Code Talkers, how likely is it that another Native American language, Navajo, would be used in the Second World War? After induction into the army, seventeen Comanche men were selected for the Signal Corps because of their unique language. The Comanche Signal Corp included Charles Chibitty, Haddon Codynah, Robert Holder, Forrest Kassanavoid, Wellington Mihecoby, Edward Nahquaddy, Perry Noyabad, Clifford Otitovo, Simmons Parker, Melvin Permansu, Elhin Red Elk, Roderick Red Elk, Larry Saupitty, Morris (Sunrise) Tabbyetchy, Tony Tabbytite, Ralph Wahnee, and Willie Yackeschi. Trained in all phases of communication, these members of the army’s Fourth Signal Division used the Comanche language to relay important messages that could not be understood or decoded by the enemy during World War II. The Navajo code played a crucial role in the U.S. victory in the Pacific during World War II.

Breaking codes as fast as they were worked out, Japanese cryptographers never broke the code based on Navajo, virtually an unwritten language in 1942. Twenty-nine Navajos fluent in Navajo and English, some only fifteen years old, constructed and mastered the Navajo code, which they transmitted in simulated battles. Twenty-seven Code Talkers were shipped to Guadalcanal, while two remained behind to train more Code Talkers. Eventually, some 400 Navajos served in the Code Talker program. Assigned to the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Divisions of the U.S. Marines, they served in many campaigns in the Pacific theater, usually in two-men teams conversing by field telephone and walkie-talkie to call in air strikes and artillery bombardments, direct troop movements, report enemy locations, direct fire from American positions, and transmit sensitive military information.

The Sioux code talkers were army radio operators. There were twelve of them. They made up a secret code using the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota language. They sent secret messages. The enemy could not understand the code. Many American soldiers were saved because of the code talkers. 1939 to 1945 The Army taps Hopi, Choctaw, Comanche, Kiowa, Winnebago, Seminole, Navajo and Cherokee Americans to use their languages as secret code in World War II. The Marines rely on Navajos to create and memorize a code based on the complex Navajo language. National Code Talkers Day is August 14th. Lets not forget to honor all the code talkers! Information was found on these sites if you’d like to read more… SDC – Journal #1398  8/4/09

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Remembering the First Known Pow Wow Held in a U.S. Combat Zone by Native Americans  ICTMN Staff  March 13, 2013

In 2004, U.S. Army Sergeant Debra Mooney, Choctaw, and the 120th Engineer Combat Battalion staged the first pow wow held in a U.S. combat zone by Native Americans. The Native American Inter-Tribal Pow Wow was held in Al Taqaddum, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

According to the National Museum of the American Indian, the two-day event, held at the Al Taqaddum Air Base near Fallujah,  featured Native regalia, dancing and singing, and traditional games and foods, including genuine frybread. Participants made their pow wow drum from a discarded 55-gallon oil barrel and canvas from a cot. The goal of the pow wow was to bring a piece of home to Native Americans serving in Iraq while sharing their cultural heritage with fellow soldiers, marines, and sailors.

American Indians have served in the U.S. military since the American revolution, before they were allowed U.S. citizenship, and by percentage they serve more than any other ethnic group. The 120th Engineer Combat Battalion has its headquarters in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, also home to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

Lower: Drum, stand, and drumsticks, 2004. Metal, canvas, wood, commercially tanned leather, plastic, nylon cord, adhesive tape, metal nails. Made by members of the U.S. Army’s 120th Engineer Combat Battalion, headquartered in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, and used during their Al Taqaddum Inter-Tribal Powwow, September 17–18, 2004, in Al Taqaddum, Iraq. Gift of Sergeant Debra K. Mooney and members of the 120th Engineer Combat Battalion. (Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian)

Lower: Drum, stand, and drumsticks, 2004. Metal, canvas, wood, commercially tanned leather, plastic, nylon cord, adhesive tape, metal nails. Made by members of the U.S. Army’s 120th Engineer Combat Battalion, headquartered in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, and used during their Al Taqaddum Inter-Tribal Powwow, September 17–18, 2004, in Al Taqaddum, Iraq. Gift of Sergeant Debra K. Mooney and members of the 120th Engineer Combat Battalion. (Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian)

US Army (USA) Soldiers of Native American Indian heritage, participate in a game of Native American Indian Stick Ball during the Native American Inter-Tribal Pow Wow held at Al Taqaddum, Iraq, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. The Pow Wow was held to honor all past, present, and future Native American Veterans, and this events marks the first time that a Pow Wow was held in a Combat Zone by Native Americans (Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian)

Native American Indians came from all over Iraq to play a game of Native American Indian Stick Ball during the Native American Inter-Tribal Pow Wow that was held on Al Taqaddum near Fallujah on the 17-18th of September 2004 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Pow Was planned from start to finish in less than five weeks, and all the items from the tomahawks to the drum was hand-made by the Native Americans in Iraq. The Pow Wow was held to honor all past, present, and future Native American Veterans, this was the first time that a Pow Wow was held in a Combat Zone by Native Americans. Photo by SFC Johancharles Van Boers (Apache/Cherokee), 55th Signal Company, Combat Camera, Fort Meade, Maryland. “Released for Public Use”

Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 120th Engineer Combat Battalion (headquartered in Okmulgee, Oklahoma) participating in a tomahawk throwing contest. Man throws a tomahawk at a wooden post while others look on (NMAI object 265139.000) . Photo taken during the powwow events held at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq in 2004. (National Museum of the American Indian)



PTSD Awareness Day: Resources for Native Vets      ICTMN Staff      June 27, 2013

In order to bring greater awareness to the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the United States Senate designated June 27 as National PTSD Awareness Day. In addition, June has been designated as PTSD Awareness Month by the National Center for PTSD.

According to the PTSD Foundation of America, one in three service members returning from deployment will suffer from severe post-traumatic stress. Fewer than forty percent will seek help. The overall lack of understanding, awareness and available treatment options in this country is a national disgrace.

Following trauma, including combat service, most people experience stress reactions but many do not develop PTSD. Mental health experts are not sure why some people develop PTSD and others do not. However, if stress reactions do not improve over time and they disrupt everyday life, help should be sought to determine if PTSD is a factor.

The purpose of PTSD Awareness Day and Month is to encourage everyone to raise public awareness of PTSD and its effective treatments so that everyone can help people affected by PTSD.

National Center for PTSD

All veterans and their family members should visit the National Center’s website, The abundant resources on the site can tell you about PTSD, where to get help and how to help someone who may suffer from the disorder.

Veterans Health Administration About Face

Learn about PTSD from Veterans who live with it every day. Hear their stories. Find out how treatment turned their lives around, go to AboutFace



National Memorial to Native American Veterans May Finally Be Built                ICTMN Staff        June 15, 2013

Amid all the controversy and ugliness associated with the surging push to have NFL team owner Dan Snyder change the widely considered racist name of his Washington, D.C. franchise, something truly positive for Indian country is developing in the U.S. capital.

This week, Congressman Markwayne Mullin introduced H.R. 2319, the Memorial Amendments Act. This follows Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introducing S. 1046, Native American Veterans’ Memorial Amendments Act of 2013 on May 23.

This legislation amends the Native American Veterans’ Memorial Establishment Act of 1994 to allow the National Museum of the American Indian to construct a memorial to Native Veterans on the museum’s grounds, which is on the National Mall. Current law authorizes a memorial inside the confines of the museum, but there is not sufficient space within the facility to construct a proper tribute to Native American Veterans.

A Cherokee, and a member of the Natural Resources subcommittee on Indian and Alaskan Native Affairs, Mullin noted the importance of the introduction and passage of H.R. 2319.

“Our Native American heritage is one we can take pride in and one we should respectfully honor,” said Mullin, in a press release. “Passage of this legislation is vital to get this project off the ground and get our brave Native Americans who fought for our freedoms the memorial they deserve. I thank my colleagues for their support and look forward to working together as we pay tribute to our Native American veterans.”

Members have shown strong, bipartisan support for H.R. 2319, with 10 cosponsors including Congressman Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma) and Congressman Raul Ruiz (D-California). (Senator Schatz’s bill also enjoys bipartisan support, an encouraging sign. The original 1994 memorial legislation too was passed with support from both sides of the aisle.)

“I am pleased to co-sponsor this legislation with Congressman Mullin,” said Cole, who is a member of the Chickasaw Nation. “We both have great pride in our Native American heritage and recognize the importance of sharing that heritage with others. It is high time that the National Museum of the American Indian is able to move forward with the construction of a memorial to honor our veterans on its grounds. This bill facilitates that goal and also approves museum fundraising efforts, paving the way for us to truly recognize those Native Americans who bravely served our country.”

“Throughout American history, Native Americans have served our country with honor and bravery,” said Ruiz. “It is important that we highlight their patriotism and sacrifice with a Native American veterans’ memorial on the National Mall, and I’m proud to join my colleagues in strong bipartisan show of support for this legislation.”

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said he supports the bipartisan changes in the Native American Veterans’ Memorial Amendments Act of 2013.

“I respect and admire any man or woman who has donned a uniform and played their role in securing and defending America’s liberties,” Baker said. “The Cherokee people have a deep tradition in American military history. Many fine young men and women have served and to all of them we owe a debt of gratitude. A memorial in D.C. near the National Museum of the American Indian is a fitting tribute and I thank Representative Mullin and the other sponsors for making it a priority. Every one of us has a family member with a veteran’s story. They served and they fought – and many of them died – for the freedoms that we all enjoy today. I hope we keep their history alive.”