Legacies of Service: Celebrating Native Americans

Native American veterans have a long history of military service, a legacy which continues to inform their current participation in the armed forces. Since 9/11, Native Americans have served at a higher per-capita rate than any other ethnic group. While their reasons for serving are as diverse as their tribal affiliations, many cite their desire to follow in the footsteps of family members, as well as the cultural value placed on patriotism, duty, and warrior traditions within their communities. Here, we present the narratives of 18 Native American veterans, all of whom served in conflicts from WWII to Iraq and Afghanistan. Including stories ranging from Navajo Code Talkers to those who traded Indian boarding schools for boot camp, all of these collections explore the meaning and experience of American military service.

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View a Research Guide related to Navajo Code Talkers.