By Mrs. Meagan Kennedy-Colon (Leonard Wood)December 1, 2016
The Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood National American Indian Heritage Month Luncheon, hosted by the 1st Engineer Brigade, took place Nov. 22 at the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex Engineer Regimental Room.
Sgt. 1st Class Lamsteen Morris, from the Navajo Tribe, who was the master of ceremonies welcomed the community to the event.
"More than 4,000 Soldiers serving in the Army today are of American Indian and Alaskan Native descent," Morris added.
The luncheon featured American Indian cuisine, followed by a cultural music demonstration by John Big Horse, Scott Big Horse and Kenneth Big Horse, all from the Osage Nation.
Morris then introduced the guest speaker, Assistant Principle Chief Raymond Red Corn III, from the Osage Nation.
"Over 400 years ago, the Osage Nation called Fort Leonard Wood their home," Red Corn told the audience. Prior to that, the Osage Nation traveled through the area regularly for several centuries, he added.
In his government career, Red Corn has focused on organizational issues, agriculture, constituent services to the Osage Nation.
Red Corn presented a slide show about American Indian veterans from the tribal nation and talked about the shared cultural history between the military and Osage Nation.
"The First World War gives us numerous examples of the Osage commitment to serve," he said. "The Osage Nation support of the war was unparalleled."
The support was so great, that in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recognized the Osage Nation through a proclamation, Red Corn said.
Many Osage tribe members voluntarily enlisted to serve in World War I in spite of not being able to become U.S. citizens until 1954, Red Corn said.
Red Corn said, the Osage Nation has sacrificed a lot and has been generous to the nation, citing an example of the tribes' donation of 5,000 acres of unleased property for the U.S. Navy to use as an oil reserve.
Col. Martin Snider, 1st Engineer Brigade commander, closed the event by presenting a plaque of appreciation to Red Corn.