By Brig. Gen. James Bonner
Special to GUIDON
The diversity of our nation is one of our greatest strengths. The nearly five million Native Americans, across nearly 574 federally recognized tribes, in the United States possess a rich history that stretches back far before the founding of our country. In the month of November, we recognize their unique culture during National Native American Heritage Month.
Today, more than 150,000 American Indians and Alaskan natives are veterans. This is the highest service rate of any race or ethnicity in America, and speaks to the patriotism of our indigenous teammates.
They bring with them a legacy of courage, service and sacrifice that help make our military more lethal than at any point in our shared history.
This year, on Veterans Day, the National Native American Veterans Memorial will be unveiled in Washington, D.C. At the ceremony, our nation will honor the enduring and distinguished service of our Native American service members.
Please take the time on Wednesday to visit https://americanindian.si.edu/ and view the online exhibition that the National Museum of the American Indian will display to recognize this event.
As we celebrate National Native American Heritage Month, remember that our strength lies in the diversity of our people. The difference of thought, experience and culture serve to make us a better military and a better country. We all bear a responsibility to embrace every member of our organization as an integral part of our team. Please enjoy this phenomenal opportunity to celebrate our Native American teammates
Victory starts here — victory through skill.
(Editor’s note: Bonner is the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general.)