April 10th 2011 Earth Day, Loudon, Virginia
USAALS Celebrates Legacy of Native Americans
COURTESY OF http://www.jble.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123281786
Posted 12/1/2011 Updated 12/1/2011
by Tetaun Moffett
633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
12/1/2011 – FORT EUSTIS, Va. — Soldiers, civilians and family members joined U.S. Army Aviation Logistics School Nov. 22 at Jacobs Theater to celebrate Native American Heritage Month.
This year’s celebration focused on the profound strength and legacy that continues to flow from generation to generation.
Keynote speaker retired Army Lt. Col. Chief Walt “Red Hawk” Brown, of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe of South Hampton, proudly delivered a message of hope and inspiration. He shared the tribes’ genealogy throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
In addition, he spoke about the contributions of Native Americans who bravely fought to protect the legacy of the nation from the American Revolution to Iraq and Afghanistan.
“It’s important for the servicemembers to know and understand the rich history of Native Americans. We’ve always played a significant role in the fight for freedom in this country,” said Brown. “It is also important for the community to know that we still have strong presence in Virginia. We were here first and we have been an integral part of the building of this great nation since 1776.”
David Lee, civilian employee from 93rd Signal Brigade who is one-eighth Cherokee said it was great to see so many Soldiers learning the truth about Native American history.
According to Lee, Hollywood stereotypes have portrayed an image that doesn’t totally represent the Native American heritage or culture the way it should.
“The presentation was passionate and very well put together. Chief Walt did a great job educating everyone about the various tribes throughout the state of Virginia,” he said.
Brown’s tribe is made up of more than 306 members whom everyone can be traced genealogically, however, receiving recognition is one of the major battles they face today.
Brown continued, “Not only are we still here, but we are part of Virginia’s past, present and future.”
In accordance to President Barrack Obama’s 2011 proclamation, “Native Americans stand among America’s most distinguished authors, artists, scientists, and political leaders, and in their accomplishments, they have profoundly strengthened the legacy we will leave our children.”