WASHINGTON — Native American servicemembers have participated in every major U.S. military campaign from the Revolutionary War to today’s conflicts in the Middle East, in higher numbers per capita than any other ethnic group.

"We asked (American Indians) why they have chosen to serve, in spite of the way they have been treated by the United States Government," said Rebecca Trautmann, project coordinator for the National Native American Veterans Memorial at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. "What we hear over and over is that it is really about protecting the homeland. Protecting the homeland, the community, the family and traditional ways of life."

A new exhibit called "Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces" opens at the museum on the National Mall on Saturday, Jan. 21. According to officials, the 16-panel exhibit "reveals the remarkable history of Native American veterans through art, photography and essay."

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