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Veterans' News

Recognizing American Indian And Alaskan Native Veterans

Posted: 12/18/2013

Thousands of veterans are helping a national program preserve their unique stories of military experience
Thousands of veterans are helping a national program preserve their unique stories of military experience.

(NAPSI)—According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are more than 150,000 American Indian and Alaskan Native veterans throughout the United States. The Veterans History Project (VHP) of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress invites these men and women to share their unique stories of military experience.

Established by the U.S. Congress in 2000, VHP’s mandate is to collect, preserve and make accessible the firsthand recollections of America’s wartime veterans. Through a network of volunteers from across the country, the Project has collected nearly 89,000 stories, making it the largest oral history project in the country.

VHP seeks to increase the number of veteran interviews from all minority communities, including American Indian and Alaskan Native veterans. Among VHP’s 250 oral histories from the American Indian and Alaskan Native veterans are the stories of Joseph Beimfohr and Marcella Ryan Le Beau, both American Indians who served in the U.S. military.

Joseph Beimfohr served in the Army during the Iraq/Afghanistan War. When he deployed to Iraq in January 2005, he was exposed to intense hostile fire. During his VHP interview, Beimfohr said, “You can’t just sit there and be paralyzed with fear, because you’re going to get everybody killed.” What he learned from his experiences was that soldiers have to trust their training and instincts. He lost both legs to an explosion, and Beimfohr subsequently learned that the only limitations in his life were self-imposed.

In 1943, Marcella Le Beau had just finished her nurse’s training in her native South Dakota and was working at a hospital in Pontiac, Michigan, when she heard about the Army’s need for nurses. A year later, she was camped out in a cow pasture in Normandy, in the wake of the D-Day invasion, on her way to Paris. “I was young and I didn’t know what war was... I guess in a way that was a saving grace,” Le Beau said. She never encountered discrimination because of her background; in fact, when colleagues learned that her great-grandfather was a Chief, they assumed she must be an “Indian princess.”

Beimfohr’s and Le Beau’s stories, along with thousands more, may be accessed on VHP’s website, www.loc.gov/vets. The website also provides information on how to record and collect veterans’ stories using VHP’s free Field Kit, a how-to-record-a-story booklet.


Retired Marine Wins Senior Volunteer Award - (NAPSI) Posted: 10/18/2013

Helping Veterans Pursue New Careers - (NAPSI) Posted: 10/18/2013

Army Amputee Continues To Serve Through Adaptive Sports And Reconditioning - (NAPSI) Posted: 6/21/2013

Pave The Way For Army History - (NAPSI) Posted: 6/5/2013

Veterans Of The “Forgotten War” Included In National Preservation Effort - (NAPSI) Posted: 6/5/2013

Court Reporters Help Record Veterans’ Stories - (NAPSI) Posted: 4/30/2013

Vietnam Veterans Share Their Experiences - (NAPSI) Posted: 3/15/2013

Helping Blinded Vets Scale The Obstacles They Face - (NAPSI) Posted: 3/15/2013

What Veterans Need, How You Can Help - (NAPSI) Posted: 1/11/2013

Unsung Heroes: America’s Servicewomen - (NAPSI) Posted: 1/11/2013

Three Myths Prevent Employment Of Disabled Veterans - (NAPSI) Posted: 1/11/2013

Helping Veterans Stay In Their Homes - (NAPSI) Posted: 1/11/2013

Helping And Advocating For Blinded Veterans - (NAPSI) Posted: 1/11/2013

Program Certifies Veterans For Careers In IT - (NAPSI) Posted: 10/11/2012

National Army Museum - (NAPSI) Posted: 10/11/2012

Maker of Brawny® Towels Launches Partnership to Support Our Nation’s Heroes - (NAPSI) Posted: 10/11/2012

Hobbies Help Wounded Vets - (NAPSI) Posted: 10/11/2012

Why Veterans Are Choosing Career Colleges - (NAPSI) Posted: 8/18/2012

Heroes Remembered - (NAPSI) Posted: 8/18/2012

Memorial Museum Keeps Legacy Of World War II Airmen Alive - (NAPSI) Posted: 6/29/2012

Korean War Women - (NAPSI) Posted: 3/7/2012

Registering Made Easy - (NAPSI) Posted: 3/7/2012

Military Medicine - (NAPSI) Posted: 2/9/2012

Helping Returning Veterans Find Work - (NAPSI) Posted: 2/9/2012



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