Rasky Honors Our American Indian Vietnam Veterans

Since Word War I
Native Americans Have Served In The United States Armed Forces
During The Vietnam War
Close To 90% Of The 86,000 Native Americans That Enlisted, Volunteered
Native Americans Had The Highest Record Of Service Per Capita Of Any Ethnic Group
Over Half Served In Combat
Four ... Are Still There ....

The Elder's Thoughts

They Said I Would Be Changed In My Body
I Would Move Through The Physical World In A Different Manner
I Would Hold Myself In A Different Posture
I Would Have Pains Where There Was No Blood
I Would React To Sights, Sounds, Movement And Touch In A Crazy Way
As Though I Was Back In The War

They Said I Would Be Wounded In My Thoughts
I Would Forget How To Trust And Think That Others Were Trying To Harm Me
I Would See Danger In The Kindness And Concern Of My Relatives And Others

Most Of All

I Would Not Be Able To Think In A Reasonable Manner
It Would Seem That Everyone Else Was Crazy
They Told Me That It Would Appear To Me
That I Was Alone And Lost Even In The Midst Of The People
That There Was No One Else Like Me
They Warned Me That It Would Be As Though My Emotions Were Locked Up
That I Would Be Cold In My Heart
I Would Not Remember The Ways Of Caring For Others

While I Might Give Soft Meat Or Blankets To The Elders Or Food To The Children
I Would Be Unable To Feel The Goodness Of These Actions
I Would Do These Things Out Of Habit And Not From Caring
They Predicted That I Would Be Ruled By Dark Anger
That I Might Do Harm To Others Without Plan Or Intention

They Knew That My Spirit Would Be Wounded
They Said I Would Be Lonely
That I Would Find No Comfort In Family , Friends, Elders Or Spirits
I Would Be Cut Off From Both Beauty And Pain
My Dreams And Visions Would Be Dark And Frightening
My Days And Nights Would Be Filled With Searching And Not Finding
I Would Be Unable To Find The Connections Between Myself And The Rest Of Creation

I Would Look Foward To An Early Death
I Would Need Cleansing And Healing In All These Things

"Elder's Thoughts Were Written By A Native American Veteran
Who Went Through The North Chicago VA Combat Trauma Program In 1991"

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