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Memorial Day Tribute: American Indian Warriors Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice in War

Vincent Schilling

Memorial Day is so much more than a long weekend on the last Monday in the month of May, and the unofficial kickoff of summer. A federal holiday, it is a day designated for remembering the men and women service members who have died while serving in the U.S. military.

In remembrance of this honorable day and these folk who made the ultimate sacrifice, ICTMN has put together a representation of those Native men and women who crossed over while serving their country. This Memorial Day we will think on all of those who gave so much defending these United States.

Lori Ann Piestewa, 23, Iraq

Army Specialist Lori Piestewa (Hopi) was the first American servicewoman killed in action in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She was also the first Hopi woman and the first Native American woman to die in combat in the service of the United States. Piestewa came from a long line of warriors: Her father served in Vietnam, her grandfather in World War II.

RELATED: Lori Ann Piestewa: Honorable Hero

Army Specialist Lori Piestewa (Hopi), killed in action in Iraq in 2003.

Mitchell Red Cloud Jr., 26, Korean War

Mitchell Red Cloud Jr., Winnebago, killed in the Korean War at age 26. (Photo: U.S. Army)Red Cloud Jr. (Winnebago), a corporal in Company E 19th Infantry in Korea, in November 1950 was surprised by Chinese forces yet stayed in position and sounded the alarm. Severely wounded, he refused assistance and instead hunkered down to fight. He was fatally wounded.

His actions stopped forces from overrunning his company and allowed for evacuation of other wounded. He received a posthumous Medal of Honor in 1951. Camp Red Cloud in Uijeongbu, South Korea, is named after him, according to the U.S. Army website.


Ernest E. Evans, 36, World War II

Evans (Cherokee, Creek) was a Lieutenant Commander serving aboard the USS Johnston during the Battle off Samar on 25 October 1944. Under attack from superior Japanese forces comprised of battleships, heavy and light cruisers and destroyers, Evans gave orders to close the range and prepare for a torpedo attack, telling his crew that "survival cannot be expected."

After a barrage of torpedoes, the USS Johnston was damaged to the point that Evans had to give the order to abandon ship. It is not known if Evans died of wounds onboard, or if he drowned after jumping into the water, but he was not among the crew members who were rescued. For his acts that aided in warding off the Japanese forces, Ernest E. Evans was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.


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Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
Thanks to all my brothers and sisters for their service. Natives have NEVER been cowards and that is just as true today as it was in 1492. Why should our servicemen and women have to endure racism after having served their country so honorable?