Lisa Lano (Hoopa/Yurok) and Arnold Lano (Navajo), husband and wife, both veteans, served in color guard yesterdat at Constoria of Administrators for Native American Reahibilation Annual Conference in Salt Lake City yesterday. Native News Online photo by Levi Rickert.
Today is Veterans Day 2015. All across the United States, veterans who served in our country’s military are being celebrated. With pride, American Indians celebrate veterans at our powwows and other celebrations throughout the year. Today is a great day to thank a veteran.
Historically, American Indians have been known as warriors. It is a deep tradition that has continued to modern times. This is perhaps the reason the Pentagon reports American Indians and Alaska Natives participate in the military at a higher rate than any other racial or ethnic group in the United States.
Here are some American Indian and Alaska Native veteran 2013 statistics that were released in May 2015 by the U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey:
Number of American Indian and Alaska Native veterans.
The American Indian and Alaska Native veterans who served in the post 9/11 period of service in a higher percentage than veterans of other races (18.6 percent vs. 14.0 percent, respectively).
Median age of American Indian and Alaska Native veterans. The median age for veterans of other races was 63.2 The American Indian and Alaska Native non-veterans’ median age was 39.5.
The median personal income of American Indian and Alaska Native veterans was the lowest of any other racial and ethnic group in the United States.
American Indian and Alaska Native veterans were more likely to lack health insurance and to have a disability, service-connected or otherwise, than veterans of other races.
Even with all the praise we afford veterans in America, unfortunately, how veterans are treated in the United States is far too often called into question because of lack of services obtained. Too many lack adequate health care. Too many are homeless.
The vast contributions the code talkers during World War II have chronicled in recent years. The fact that their codes were never broken is witness to the power of Native language that fortunately was available to those who spoke it then.
Today, the Native News Online honors all warrior veterans and says “megwetch” (thank you) for all you did for this country.