By Capt. Jonathon DaniellDecember 1, 2017
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea - The 2nd Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Guardians, celebrated National American Indian Heritage month Nov. 22 with an insightful observance at Camp Carroll, South Korea.
The monthly observance first occurred in 1990, when President George H. W. Bush declared November National American Indian Heritage month.
"It's important to have cultural observances, because it enhances our knowledge of the diversity of our formation," said Sgt. 1st Class Penieli Vaisagote, the 35th ADA Brigade equal opportunity representative. "The combination of the performance from the Navajo Nation and the guest speaker, Mr. Alexander, provided a great introduction for those with limited knowledge of Native Americans."
David Morales, a member from the Navajo Nation who resides in Incheon, South Korea, performed a traditional Navajo dance and played the pan flute to a captivated audience. His attire was equally impressive and provided a glimpse into the intricate detail of his rich culture.
The guest speaker, Col. (R) William M. Alexander, the 2nd Infantry Division Museum director and historian, shared dozens of anecdotes from Native Americans who helped shape the history of the United States. He supplemented his speech with countless photos to provide greater understanding of each historical figure.
Alexander also paid tribute to those in the audience with Native American ties, asking each member to stand and share their heritage to the room.
One of those Soldiers was Spc. Nathaniel Shiosee, 2-1 ADA BN, of the Acoma Pueblo Laguana tribe out of New Mexico, he later had this to say.
"Having a Native American observance means a great deal, especially for those of us who are Native American," said Shiosee. "Having people see and learn about our culture is great, it gives us a chance to show our pride in who we are."
Capt. Norris E. Potter, 2-1 ADA BN future operations officer, was in charge of planning the National American Indian Heritage Month observance for Area IV service members.
The Guardians are one of two air defense artillery battalions on the Korean Peninsula, they provide ballistic missile defense for the southern region of South Korea.