Veteran’s Day Honor Ceremony
By Bill Donehey
Sergeant, U.S. Army 1973-1976
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Mashantucket - Native Americans from around the region were honored by the Mashantucket Tribe today. Outside the skies were gray, overcast with persistent drizzle, but inside Native Americans were being held in high esteem as each veteran was recognized individually for their commitment and dedication to our free nation.
The Mashantuckets welcomed each veteran and their guests with a luncheon of prime rib, green beans, seasoned potatoes and other delicious foods. The ceremony began at noon with the MC extolling the virtues of those that had served and at times holding back tears.
Tom Epps (Throws His Hatchet), a firekeeper from the Mohegan tribe, was there to introduce Juanita Medbury-Walkabout from the Mohegan Tribe. Juanita spoke about her husband with tears in her eyes thanking all the people in attendance. She spoke briefly while still holding back tears, about her husband Billy Bob Walkabout, a native Cherokee whose actions in Vietnam made him the most decorated American Indian soldier of the war. Billy Bob passed on March 7, 2007. He was 57 years old.
American Indians have served their country with honor for generations. Their contribution in all our nation’s modern wars has been substantial right up through the present war in Iraq. Indian warriors seek no glory, but they do not want their wartime deeds to be brushed aside.
Itelligenta Indigena Novajoservo – “If there was one native soldier who earned the right for all Indians to be treated with respect it was this man”
Story and photos by Mohegan Veteran Bill Donehey, who served in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Army sergeant from 1973-1976
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