YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — In celebration of the long tradition of American Indians serving in the military, U.S. installations throughout South Korea are planning a series of events to mark Native American Heritage Month.
Area I officials seek volunteers to take part in a Nov. 20 ceremony to be held at Camp Red Cloud’s theater. The show is to feature soldiers dressed in traditional American Indian costumes and performing dances and songs.
At Camp Humphreys on Nov. 25, a special program will be held at the base theater. Chief Warrant Officer Robert Carnahan, a member of the Cherokee tribe and the 2nd Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment safety officer, will be the guest speaker. The program is to begin at 1:30 p.m.
On Nov. 21, special Native American Heritage Month luncheons will be held at the Blackhorse Inn, the Pegasus Grill and the Flaming Dragon dining halls.
Humphreys also is to host a daylong fitness competition Nov. 25. Five-person teams will compete in a 5K run and other sporting events.
The events and programs are meant to highlight the service of Native Americans in the military. According to Pentagon figures, Native Americans have a higher per-capita record of military service than any other ethnic group in the United States.
“Almost half of America’s Native American tribal leaders have served in the United States Armed Forces, following in the footsteps of their forebears who distinguished themselves during the World Wars and the conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf,” President Bush said last year in an address marking Native American Heritage Month.
In 1998, military officials revamped training rules and regulations to allow American Indian servicemembers to perform religious rituals that might otherwise be against military rules. On Navy ships, for instance, servicemembers are allowed to make modified “sweat lodges,” part of a religious ceremony.