Members of the 90th Missile Wing participated in a celebration of Native American Indian Heritage Month at a ceremony at the Trail’s End on F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, Nov. 27, 2023.
Additionally, Jeffery Means, professor of Native American History at the University of Wyoming and member of the Lakota Nation, took a tour of wing facilities, then served as guest speaker for the ceremony.
Means learned more about the missile wing’s mission through a visit of the Missile Procedures Trainer and the Operations Group, then a visit of U-01 training Launch Facility. Means, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, was appreciative of the opportunity to see nuclear deterrence in action.
“I loved my visit. Everybody I spoke to was so professional and the missile system as it was explained to me was safe and professionally run,” said Means. “It was really fantastic getting to learn about our American missile defense system and I was truly impressed.”
During the ceremony, event organizers offered Indian fry bread to attendees and Means discussed the history of Wyoming’s native populations, from the earliest record of arrival into North America to the present.
The event closed with Airman 1st Class Savanna Larvingo, member of the Navajo Nation, performing a Basket Dance for those present. The Basket Dance is a ceremonial blessing and is also symbolic of the history of the Navajo people.
Nearly 19% of Native Americans have served in the U.S. Armed Services since Sept. 11, 2001, as compared to an average of 14% of all other ethnicities, where one in four eligible Native Americans have worn the uniform, compared to one of 12 in the general population. Additionally, Native military members have earned five Medals of Honor for exceptional service.
This article was originally published on the F.E. Warren AFB website at www.warren.af.mil Nov. 28, 2023.
|F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, WY, US