(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Head Gourd Dancer Blas Preciado, left, a Vietnam War veteran of the Kiowa tribe, talks with Marine Cpl. Frank Tartsah, right, also of the Kiowa tribe, during a Native American blessing for veteran and active-duty servicemen Friday, June 15, 2012, in Camp Pendleton, Calif. Veterans and active-duty servicemen from Apache, Cheyenne, Comanche, Kiowa and other Native American tribes gathered on the Marine base for a ceremonial gourd dance and blessing, singing songs and dancing in honor of those who have served in combat.

Save the Date: Ceremonial Honoring Gourd Dance and Blessing

June 04, 2013

To honor all military veterans and their families, the Veterans Affairs Long Beach Healthcare System will be holding an intertribal gourd dance ceremony and blessing on Thursday, June 6 in Long Beach, California.

The honored veteran is U.S. Marine Corps vet Tommy Spottedbird. Guest speakers include Eleanor McDaniel, president of the Women Veterans of Oklahoma Fort Sill Chapter, and Dorothy Whitehorse Delaune, Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma storyteller, singer, historian and friend.

MC is Tom Morgan, Pawnee, USMC veteran and the head singers are Ernest "Iron" Toppah, Kiowa, and Aaron Jones, Kiowa. Head gourd dancer is Blas Preciado, Kiowa, USMC veteran. Head lady dancer is McDaniel, Comanche. Arena directors are Ben Wolf, Kiowa, and Silas Perkins, Comanche/Choctaw/Wichita.

Special invitations: American Gold Star Mothers Organization of California and the Golden State Gourd Society.

The event is open to the public and will go from 11 a.m. to 5 p..m. in the golf course area at 5901 East Seventh Street. Opening ceremonies will run 11 a.m. to noon, followed by the Ceremonial Blessing and Gourd Dance until 4 p.m. The meal will be served from 4 p.m. untill closing at 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Pershing Yeahquo at 405-274-2426.