CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea -- Eighth Army hosted an observance to honor National American Indian Heritage Month, Nov. 27, at the Freedom Chapel, here. The event is celebrated annually during the month of November.
Army Cpt. Sean A. Begaye, division tactical command post battle captain with Bravo Company, (Outcast Company), Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion 2ID, was the guest speaker for the event. Begaye spoke on the importance of history, relationship of America, and Native Americans, during his remarks.
"The history of the Native American people, and the United States has been intertwined since the settlers came," said Begaye. "Native Americans and Americans have been friends, and foes. Native Americans have been prisoners of war, and confined to reservations. Even though there's been issues, when America called, and needed people, Native Americans have always answered that call."
Historically, Native Americans have the highest enlistees in the U.S. military per capita when compared to other ethnicities.
Begaye, was raised on a Navajo reservation, and grew up learning the meaning of the warrior tradition. He explains this warrior tradition is the reason for the large military participation rate.
"Many Native Americans have gone to war, and it is the largest minority group by percentage," he said. "The number of Native Americans wanting to protect this country has been evident in all of the wars, since the Indian wars ended.
"We grew up hearing about that warrior society. The only way to be a warrior in modern time is to join the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force or be a policeman. Native American males have an expectation to belong to the warrior society. That's where it lies," he added.
The observance recognized the outstanding contributions made by the American Indian Soldiers to the Nation, and the Eighth Army.
"We have so much pride when it comes to serving in the military. It's an honorable job," Begaye said. "We want to serve our nation with honor, and integrity. Many Navajo Code Talkers weren't citizens and didn't have the right to vote, but still had pride to serve because they believed in this Nation, America."