Veterans: Honoring Native American Heroes
Some of our Veterans:
Native American Army Women’s Iraqi Freedom Veterans Color Guard Fort, Carson Colorado
From Left: Toni Eaglefeathers (N. Cheyenne), Cindy Darrington (Navajo), and Mitchelene BigMan (Crow),
See Front Page Story in Nov 2010 Camp Crier
See story about their appearance in the Veterans’ Day Parade in NYC, November 11, 2010
News release from the Pueblo Chemical Depot (where Mitchelene BigMan is employed).
Honor Dance at the Sept 25, 2010 Garden of the Gods Rock Ledge Ranch Powwow
Historical contributions of Native American Veterans in the United States Military.
A video tribute to Native American Veterans.
A song and salute to Lori Piestewa (Hopi), first Native American woman to die in combat.
Resources for veterans, service personnel, and military families:
Project Sanctuary : Reconnecting Military Families
This organization provides family retreats for returning service people and their families to help them reconnect as a family. Project Sanctuary serves active duty and veteran Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine members, their spouses, and families throughout the state of Colorado. Our program serves these families by offering them a leisure environment through which they are given the opportunity to build and strengthen their relationships, while going through the process of therapeutically healing. Military families now a days are facing new challenges of numerous, long-term deployments. Compounding this scenario is the fact that post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and divorce rates in the United States are rising. Project Sanctuary exists to offer services to military personnel and their families that will give them the tools needed to heal after a deployment, while rebuilding and strengthening family bonds.
Welcome Home Warrior, based in Woodland Park, CO provides free family retreats for families of those returning from deployment and for those with combat veterans at home. They also provide counseling for veterans and their families.
Welcome Home Warrior also can provide individual and family counseling on a sliding scale basis and they are a certified Medicare provider. Executive Director, Donna Finicle, LCSW, BCD Clinical Behavioral Social Worker, has experience working with Native veterans and can set up recovery circles for those who are interested. Pro bono counseling may also be requested. Please call Donna for more information at 719-687-1000; cell: 719-439-3621. Next Military Family Retreat: April 8, 2010.
THFC delivers assistance to the military community throughout the State of Colorado. They maintain a close relationship with the Army Community Service at Fort Carson and the Family Support Centers at the United States Air Force Academy, Peterson Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, and Schriever Air Force Base. The family support centers identify and verify financial needs.
Once a need is established through these service centers, THFC can then provide assistance for car or house repairs, resources for family emergencies (i.e. childcare, evictions, food, energy bills). They have funds to help families of seriously wounded service members to travel to hospitals to visit their loved ones. They can also provide assistance for disabled military in Colorado to obtain adaptive housing or vehicle modification.
Their Welcome Home GWOT Heroes program supports events for returning soldiers, airmen and their families, and also provides Memorial Services, Wounded Warrior Social and a variety of other programs. Be sure to visit their website at www.thehomefrontcares.org or contact them at: 719 447-3838
The Story of “V.” illustrates the long term effects of combat, combined with historical trauma experienced by many Native Americans. (This article, written in 2004, focuses on Viet Nam Era combat related PTSD…see the other resources on legacy of the boarding schools and intergenerational trauma in the CSIC Library.)
Traditional ceremonies for helping Native Americans returning from combat.
Native American Women veterans and PTSD : visit the photographic exhibit depicting the lives of two Native American women and their struggle to heal from their experiences in combat.
(Dorothy Grandbois, Turtle Mountain Chippewa)
Additional information on post traumatic stress and combat can be found at the Veterans Administration website.
Horses for Heroes–Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center: Provides therapeutic instruction for veterans recovering from traumatic injuries. Horseback riding assists in the rehabilitative needs of recovery from brain injuries, amputations, dimished sight and other conditions. Therapeutic riding contributes to the development of self confidence and healing.
Veterans Benefits (including Education)
Be sure to visit the Veterans Administration to take advantage of VA benefits.
Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill) : The MGIB program provides up to 36 months of education benefits. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following your release from active duty. This program is also commonly known as Chapter 30. (Be sure to check the link to the website for more specific information.)
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. (Be sure to visit the website and also check with the VA office at the school you wish to attend to determine what the exact benefits for your situation would be.)
The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Indian Health Services have signed an agreement (Oct 10, 2010) to work more closely to gether to expand the capacity of the VA to serve veterans and their families in their local tribal communities. The agreement outlines the intent of increasing available services, improving the delivery of care by sharing programs, developing new models of care using the latest technologies, providing culturally competent care for beneficiaries, and increasing the quality of care though training and workforce development.
The Pikes Peak Library District has a page listing links to many resources for veterans.
Please check the Warrior Down program at White Bison, Inc. See the pamphlet for information about implementing a program for Veterans in your community. Training for the Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps and Warrior Down can be found at the National Wellbriety Training Institute. If you have additional resources or information to add to this page, please leave a message below.