If You Want to Honor a Veteran, Click the Plaque Below











Here's a Normandy Beach landing photo they don't show you in textbooks.
Brave women of the Red Cross arriving in 1944 to help the injured troops.



These Veterans' Pages are dedicated to the brave men and women of all races who fought, and in many cases died, to preserve the rights of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" for their loved ones and for future generations. Society calls them "Veterans." SENAA calls them Warriors and Heroes.

Though we have a ways to go before their dreams of  Liberty and Justice for all are realities for Indigenous Americans, our brave Veterans have given selflessly of themselves to preserve for us the freedom to pursue and realize those ideals; not just for Indigenous Americans, and not just in this nation, but for all people, in all nations that love freedom.

To honor those brave men and women who gave so much, SENAA International is proud to establish these Veterans' Pages to commemorate their courage, their commitment, their sacrifice, and their ultimate gift to us–our freedom.

If there is a Veteran whose story and/or photos you would like to see in this section, e-mail us with the Veteran's name, story, and photo (if available), and we will gladly honor them.

We at SENAA sincerely hope that you enjoy this small offering to our heroic Veterans and that you will contribute to it as often as you like.

To our Warriors and Heroes–Our Veterans–Thank you.

Al Swilling, Founder
SENAA International




Patriot Guard Riders - Standing For Those Who Stood For Us


Jimmy Carter Berthold Allen Chastain
UPDATE: 06 FEB 2011
UPDATE: 04 AUG 2011
Entire Shack Rat Crew Recovered
& Laid to Rest on Home Soil

Lori Piestewa

Cherokee Veterans Park
Qualla Boundary, NC
Matt Davison
Veteran and Veterans' Advocate
This Week in History: Navajo Code Talkers Day
People's World  -  14 AUG 2017
    Each year, August 14th is recognized as Navajo Code Talkers Day in gratefulness for the role native Navajo speakers played during World War II.
    The term “code talkers” is strongly associated with bilingual Navajo speakers specially recruited during World War II by the Marines to serve in their standard communications units in the Pacific Theater. Code talking, however, was pioneered by Cherokee and Choctaw Indians during World War I.
    Philip Johnston, a civil engineer for the city of Los Angeles, proposed the use of the Navajo language to the U.S. Marine Corps at the beginning of World War II. Johnston, a World War I veteran, was raised on the Navajo reservation as the son of a Christian missionary to the Navajo. He was one of the rare non-Navajo who spoke the language fluently.
    Navajo has a complex grammar, and is not mutually intelligible enough with even its closest relatives within the Na-Dene linguistic family. It was still an unwritten language, and Johnston thought Navajo could satisfy the military requirement for an undecipherable code. Navajo was spoken only on the Navajo lands of the American Southwest. Its syntax and tonal qualities, not to mention dialects, made it unintelligible to anyone without extensive exposure and training. One estimate indicates that at the outbreak of World War II, fewer than 30 non-Navajo could understand the language....
VA’s Rule Establishes a Presumption of Service Connection for Diseases Associated with Exposure to Contaminants in the Water Supply at Camp Lejeune
VA to provide disability benefits for related diseases

Veteran's Administration  -  14 MAR 2017
    VA regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C. are effective as of today.
    “Establishing these presumptions is a demonstration of our commitment to care for those who have served our Nation and have been exposed to harm as a result of that service,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David J. Shulkin. “The Camp Lejeune presumptions will make it easier for those Veterans to receive the care and benefits they earned.”
    The presumption of service connection applies to active duty, Reserve and National Guard members who served at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days (cumulative) between Aug.1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987, and are diagnosed with any of the following conditions:...  
WW II B-17 Survival Story
War History Online - First Published 17 OCT 2014
Virtually cut in half by a mid air collision with a German Fighter it got the crew home!

Learn About the United States Coast Guard

   The U.S. Coast Guard is one of the five branches of America’s armed forces. It has responsible for protecting the shores, inland waterways and maritime interests of the country since 1790, preceding the U.S. Navy by eight years. It currently is the only branch of the military that is also part of U.S. Homeland Security, and continues to enforce federal law in U.S. waters.
Along with enforcing laws and saving lives in U.S. waters, a law in 1939 put the Coast Guard in charge of America’s maritime aids, including lighthouses. In 1946, Congress expanded the Coast Guard’s duties again by making it responsible  for  marine  licensing  and  merchant  vessel

safety. The Coast Guard works closely with the Navy in times of war, or at the direction of the President. It has done this since the war of 1812, when the cutters joined the Navy to protect the United States. Coast Guard sailors have participated in every U.S. conflict since, including Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The Last Original Navajo Code Talker Has Died
The Huffington Post  -  04 JUN 2014
   FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The language he once was punished for speaking in school became Chester Nez's primary weapon in World War II.
   Before hundreds of men from the Navajo Nation became Code Talkers, Nez and 28 others were recruited to develop a code based on the then-unwritten Navajo language. Locked in a room for 13 weeks, they came up with an initial glossary of more than 200 terms using Navajo words for red soil, war chief, braided hair and hummingbird, for example, and an alphabet.
   Nez never tired of telling the story to highlight his pride in having served his country and stress the importance of preserving the Navajo language. The 93-year-old died Wednesday morning of kidney failure with plenty of appearances still scheduled, said Judith Avila, who helped Nez publish his memoirs. He was the last of the original group of 29 Navajo Code Talkers....
Code Talkers Honored With Congressional Gold Medals
Chad Garland, Cronkite News -  26 NOV 2013
WASHINGTON - Warren Kooyaquaptewa did not live long enough to be honored by his country for his military service, but his daughter said Nov. 20 that the Hopi man would have been proud to see that day finally come.
   Kooyaquaptewa was one of more than 200 Native American code talkers, including 12 men from three Arizona tribes, to be honored with Congressional Gold Medals Nov. 20 for their service in the World Wars, a long-kept military secret. Almost all of the medals were awarded posthumously....
Last Remaining Navajo Code Talker Reflects from His NM Home on Days of Service
The Republic  -  13 NOV 2011
   Albuquerque, N.M. — With gnarled fingers, Chester Nez reverently opened the small box his son Mike had fetched for him at their West Mesa home. Even at 90 years old, Nez's face still beams as he proudly opens it.
   Careful not to touch the gold medal, Nez shares a secret.
   "On the other side it says, 'We used our language to defeat the enemy,' and that's what we did," he said.
   Nez carefully puts the lid back on the box and hands it to his son for safekeeping. Inside is a Congressional Gold Medal — one of only 29 in existence — given to Nez by then-President George W. Bush during a White House ceremony July 26, 2001.
   Five of the "original 29? Navajo Code Talkers, the men who developed and implemented the code that confounded the Japanese during World War II and was never broken, received the medals that day.
   In a moment that speaks to the reverence Nez holds for his country, instead of shaking the president's hand after being handed the medal, he saluted Bush as his commander-in-chief.
   When the ceremony took place, five of the "original 29? were living. Today, only Nez remains....
NEW UPDATE: Shack Rat Crew At Last Laid to Rest on Home Soil
Services Held at Arlington National Cemetery on 03 & 04 August 2011 for Recovered Pilot and Crew
of WWII B-24 Bomber 42-40918, the "Shack Rat"—With Photo Gallery

SENAA International - 06 AUG 2011
During the week of 01-05 August 2011, families of the pilot and crew of the B-24 Liberator Bomber 42-40918, "Shack Rat", convened at Arlington, Virginia, to finally lay to rest their lost loved ones on American soil. All 12 of the airmen have now been brought home and laid to rest on their home soil and were given full military honors by the nation that they served and gave their lives to defend....
NEW UPDATE: SSgt. Berthold Allen Chastain's Remains Found, Identified, and Returned
SENAA International - 06 FEB 2011
   On 26 October 2010, one day before the 67th anniversary of his disappearance, Berthold Allen Chastain's daughter, Tulie Mae Chastain-Swilling, received a phone call from the U.S. Army informing her that the remains of her father, along with those of the other eleven crewmen of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bomber, 42-40918, the "Shack Rat", had been recovered and positively identified....

Veterans Urged to Volunteer
Military.com  -  23 NOV 2009
   First Lady Michelle Obama recently urged all Americans, including military veterans, to put their skills to use in volunteer service to assist U.S. communities and citizens in need....

Executive Order to Hire Vets
Military.com  -  23 NOV 2009
   President Barack Obama recently signed an executive order aimed at hiring more veterans to work in the federal government. A government wide Council on Veterans' Employment will be created....
'Language Was My Weapon'
Navajo Code Talker recalls training for World War II

Durango Herald  -  15 NOV 2009
   SHIPROCK–An extended family of more than 150 members said happy birthday—ba hoozho bi'dizchi-neeji' 'aneilkaah—here Wednesday to 87-year-old David Patterson, one of the few remaining Navajo Code Talkers whose encrypted messages befuddled eavesdropping Japanese as U.S. Marines recaptured Pacific islands in World War II....

Help Needed Gathering Information
Message from PDuncan, Assistant PR Director, 40 and 8
Jerry Yamamoto  -  28 FEB 2009

Greetings from the Forty and Eight:
   On February 4, 1967 in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam (II Corps), in the general area of Pleiku, a member of the United States Army became a casualty of the 10,000-day war and a statistic of what eventually exceed 58,000 Americans. His name holds a place of honor on Panel 37E - Line 23 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington , D.C.
   His name is not easily perceived, Huskie Yazzie Begay Ten, but his spirit is reminiscent of that of the Navajo Code Talkers and the heritage of our Native Americans. Born in Arizona in 1945 and drafted into the Army, Huskie Y. B. Ten entered into the ranks of hero protecting his fellow soldiers in combat. For this, he was awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry in Action....

"Sometimes We Pray"
Chinle PTSD group going strong after a year, meets needs of Veterans of all ages
Navajo Times  -  05 FEB 2009

   CHINLE—There are things about post-traumatic stress disorder that only fellow sufferers will understand.
   The way a whiff of Chinese food can trigger a flashback to a Vietnamese village that was abandoned so quickly that family dinners were left boiling on the fire.
   That strange, loud voice you get when you're talking to your wife but really trying to shout down an uninvited memory.
   Tucking a hunting knife under your mattress, just in case.
   And worse....

Above and Beyond
Was a Navajo soldier overlooked for a Medal of Honor?
Cindy Yurth  -  27 JAN 2009

   KITS’IILI, Ariz. — As Tom Gorman read the citations for the two posthumous Congressional Medals of Honor recently awarded to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, they sounded familiar.
   Both men had thrown themselves on live explosives, using their bodies to shield their comrades from the full force of the blast.
   Two years earlier, Gorman, the claims agent at the Navajo Veterans Affairs’ Chinle office, had read an almost identical account of a Navajo soldier as he entered information on Vietnam veterans into the office’s computer database.
   He went back into his files and took another look....

VA Hospital in Muskogee First to be Named for Native American
Submitted by Matt Davison - 10 OCT 2006

   On 30 November, the Muskogee VA Medical Center in Oklahoma will be renamed after the late World War II hero and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Jack C. Montgomery.
   The hospital will be the first VA facility named for a Native American.
   Montgomery served as first lieutenant in the Army’s 45th...

World War II Code Talker Basks in Belated Recognition
The Pueblo Chieftain - 08 OCT 2006

   AVONDALE - World War II veteran Allen Dale June's wife refers to him as "an endangered species."
   Those who honored the former Marine on Saturday refer to him as a hero.
   June, a member of the Navajo tribe, was honored at the annual Avondale/Boone and Eastern Pueblo County Veterans Day parade parade for his service during World War II as a Marine Code Talker.
   At 84, June is one of the two survivors among the 29 original Navajo Code Talkers....

Bill Would Aid Cemeteries for Indian Veterans
NY Times - 03 SEP 2006

   WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 — Traditionally, when American Indians are killed in battle, their remains are returned to their tribal lands for burial.
   But for the families of the many Indians who join the United States military, death brings a difficult choice: The veterans can be buried in a national veterans’ cemetery with fellow comrades in arms. Or they can be buried close to home on tribal land.
   There is no way to do both.
   The Native American Veterans Cemetery Act would change that....

Code Talker Describes His Once-Secret Work During World War II 
- 19 JUNE 2004

   In this age of super-sophisticated encrypted communication among U.S. military commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan,  Sam Billison's  World War II  expertise  seems  almost  archaic—until  you  realize  that  the Japanese, with all their code-breaking expertise, never came close to cracking Billison's radio messages as the Marines battled across the Pacific some 60 years ago.
   Billison, 79,  is president of the  Navajo Code Talkers Association,  a group of  Navajo tribe members who joined up for a top-secret code project during World War II that is credited with keeping the Japanese forces completely in the dark....

Veterans Report for 14 June 2004


   Below is the complete version of this week's  Veterans Report.  Print it,  circulate it,  and make sure your colleagues and friends keep up with the latest veterans benefits updates....

ACTION ALERT: Legislation Renewed to Support Homeless Vets

   The Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Assistance Act of 2001 has been reauthorized...let your voice be heard...

Bush Thanks Veterans, Then Cuts Their Health Care  
The Daily Mislead - 01 JUN 2004

  President Bush spent the Memorial Day weekend thanking the nation's veterans for their service, saying "we acknowledge the debt [we owe them] by showing our respect and gratitude." Yet, his rhetoric came just hours after the Bush Administration announced new plans to slash veterans health care funding if it returns to power in 2005....

Using Their Language to Save Lives
Arizona Daily Sun
- 28 MAY 2004

   It sounded like gibberish to the Japanese in World War II -- the Navajo-inspired code used by the U.S. Marines in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. Today, the message is coming in loud and clear: Cherish and honor our last remaining code talkers while we still can.
   Five local Navajo code talkers–Arthur Hubbard Sr., Dan Akee, Alfred Peaches, Teddy Draper Sr. and Lloyd Oliver–are being honored tonight at a public reception at 5:30 at the Little America Hotel.
   The reception is part of the long weekend of festivities that mark the dedication of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, and Memorial Day on Monday....

Code Talker Awarded Purple Heart 58 Years After Military Discharge 
Navajo Times - 19 MAR 2004

   WINDOW ROCK - It took almost 59 years for Navajo Code Talker Teddy Draper Sr. to receive his Purple Heart and commendation.
   Draper, who will be 81 years old on April 2, on Friday said that the Purple Heart revived him.
   According to a March 2 letter from the U.S. Veterans Administration, the VA admitted that they had made a "clear and unmistakable error" on May 17, 1946....

Code Talker Tells of Service, Death
The Daily Times
- 03 MAR 2004

   AZTEC — Navajo Code Talker Wilfred Billey probably didn’t know the day he became a radio man during World War II that he would some day be considered an American hero. 
   Billey told an overflowing crowd at the San Juan Archaeological Society that it took the death of his good friend to earn his first job as a radio man during the United States’ battles against the Japanese....

Young Navajos follow in footsteps of Marine code talkers
Union-Tribune - 23 NOV 2003
Part 1 of 2

   Friday night, May 30, 6 o'clock ...
   Wind blowing through his ink-black hair, Nathaniel Bitsui stands on the chalky rim of the Grand Canyon. It's cloudy out. The dirt boils with bugs.
   Nate graduates tonight, this spring evening. The Navajo boy wears a shiny red cap and gown to his Grand Canyon High School commencement, held on the rim. When it's over, he flings his cap into the air.
   The next day he turns 18.
   The day after that he's supposed to leave his northern Arizona home for Marine Corps boot camp in San Diego.
   It's overwhelming, all this...

Mettle of Honor
Boot camp tests recruits from the Navajo Nation
Union-Tribune - 24 NOV 2003
Part 2 of 2

   Julio Nez thought he had things figured out, but at this moment, with three beastly Marine Corps drill instructors going medieval on him, he's not sure of anything....
   Hollywood likes to portray Marine drill instructors as human Rottweilers. At their most beastly, they're worse. In the eyes of recruits, they're the spawn of Satan – cackling, red-faced, lunatics.
   The barking men in the green hats make life in boot camp hell because war is hell. It's not pretty or politically correct. They make things tough because they say it's better to test a man's mettle here, in the safety of San Diego, than in Baghdad. How a Marine handles extreme stress makes the difference between life and death on the battlefield....

Eagle Butte Man Upheld Family Duty 
argusleader.com - Published: 18 NOV 2003

   A second South Dakota soldier was among those killed Saturday, 15 November, in a helicopter crash in Iraq.
   Pfc. Sheldon Hawk Eagle, a descendant of Lakota warrior Crazy Horse, was a quiet, focused man who viewed military service as a citizen's duty, people in his hometown of Eagle Butte said Monday....  

Mom, Hopi, Hero: Piestewa an Icon
The Arizona Republic - 10 APR 2003

   She has become the nation's most recognizable Native American military icon since another Arizonan, Ira Hayes, helped raise the Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima.
   Just ask retired Army Col. Tom Spencer of Hampstead, N.C., about the impact of the death in Iraq of Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa....

Piestewa Went to War for Lynch, Book Says
Profile: Lori Piestewa
Piestewas Share Thoughts on Their Late Daughter

Veterans Day in Los Angeles 
by Horace W. Coleman

   I presented a floral tribute to the U.S. Vets Residence facility in Inglewood, California on Veterans Day at a breakfast held by U.S. vets. VVAW member Brian Slease and VVA member Matt Davison were also part of the presentation. Local politicians and a representative of Congress Person Maxine Waters were also present, as were a Salvation Army Band and Color Guard of Sea Scouts....

Message to Iraq
The Navajo Times
- 06 NOV 2003

   WINDOW ROCK — Navajo voices, food, faces, drawings, letters and music are headed to Baghdad, Iraq, today.
   Navajo Nation Legislative Office staff assistant Leila Help-Tulley said on Wednesday that she and other Legislative Branch employees have been working late into the evenings to meet the Nov. 6 deadline for a Navajo care package for Navajo troops and other military personnel to enjoy by Nov. 20....

White House OKs Code Talker Medals
Gallup Independent
- 06 NOV 2003

   WINDOW ROCK — Nine Navajo Code Talkers have been confirmed by the White House to receive long-awaited Congressional silver medals at the Navajo Nation Veterans' Day celebration on November 11. 
   Arizona Representative Rick Renzi has been designated by the White House to present the medals to the code talkers....

Ceremony Will Honor Hopi Indian Slain in Iraq
- 06 NOV 2003

  The parents of Spc. Lori Piestewa, a Hopi Indian and the first servicewoman killed in the Iraq war, will speak at today’s Veterans Day ceremony conducted by the Seminole Tribe of Florida....

Veterans Benefits Act Passed 

   The House of Representatives has approved H.R. 2297, the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003, legislation that would expand and extend benefits to veterans and their surviving spouses. Sponsored by Congressman Chris Smith (NJ), H.R. 2297 would, amongst other things, also reinstate a VA pilot program to provide vocational training to newly eligible VA nonservice-connected pension recipients and add cirrhosis of the liver as a presumed service-connected disability for former POWs. To learn about the other approved amendments to H.R. 2297, see this article.... 

Waco Officials Ask Group to Keep Veterans Hospital Open

Associated Press - 05 OCT 2003

   More than 1,500 people gathered Friday at a hearing by a government commission considering whether to close the Waco Veterans Hospital and six others nationwide.
  Commission members heard nearly five hours of testimony from city officials, community leaders, veterans groups and hospital employees. Their comments about why the facility should remain open were frequently interrupted by spirited applause, cheers, and some standing ovations....

Navajo Code Talker President Wants U.S. Troops out of Iraq

The Daily Times
- 05 OCT 2003

SHIPROCK — The president of the Navajo Code Talkers Association said Friday he opposes U.S. troops being stationed in Iraq because suspected weapons of mass destruction were never found....










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